Science is finally discovering what Scripture has declared for centuries; that loving God is good for us.
Seems Karl Marx earmarked the wrong drug when he declared religion to be the opiate of the masses. God may be addictive, but He is far from detrimental. Health-conscious individuals may want to add Vitamin “G” to their list of daily supplements.
“A new Canadian study finds belief in God works much like an anti-anxiety drug…it buffers them against the pains of everyday living, it offers meaning, and it structures their understanding of the world.” The study revealed a marked difference between “those participants with a strong belief in an active, involved God (and)…non-believers.” The result: “… religious people tend to lead longer lives and enjoy better physical and mental health.”
The information will be published in the reputable journal, Psychological Science. It provides discerning professionals with another unexpected instrument of healing – God.
If the goal of medical science is truly the health of humans, then hospitals, doctor’s offices and health clinics would be wise to welcome the Divine into their daily practice. It would seem He is as indispensable as tongue compressors and latex gloves. Bibles and spiritual literature belong in waiting rooms. Lists of churches and meeting times should be distributed alongside prescriptions. An inner “examining room” would ideally be set aside for prayer and meditation. Unorthodox perhaps – effective, without question.
Physicians may adjust the body and psychiatrists the mind, but God alone touches the human spirit. Like William Shatner, a.k.a. Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame, God “boldly goes where no man has gone before.”
French mathematician, philosopher and physicist, Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) noted this vast unexplored human territory and stated, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
He is the missing piece to the puzzle, the final ingredient in the recipe and the million dollar answer in “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.
It was God-lovers who exhibited the highest level of mental and physical health in the soon-to-be-published study. This was not because they were miraculously delivered from life’s problems. Like it or not, challenges will always be part of our adventure on Earth. All will see their share of sickness, questions, job-loss and relationships that turn sour.
The secret to health lies not in what they rid themselves of, but rather, what they welcomed; namely, God. He brings peace in the midst of storms, purpose to sorrows and love to the lonely. Abandonment is not in His vocabulary.
No wonder scientists observed that “God works like an anxiety drug.” A genuine revelation of His inner presence sparks boldness second-to-none. Fear flees. God is our Friendly Giant who implores all to “Look up, waaay up.”
When the health study is published, I do hope they quote wise old King Solomon. After all, he discovered similar truth centuries ago, and commented: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
It is an atrocity to bury such truth, but a treasure to rediscover it. I’m grateful for scientists who dare to do so.
“Like William Shatner, a.k.a. Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame, God “boldly goes where no man has gone before.”
Rod Barks is a Saskatchewan pastor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org