Sometimes we are tested by sickness. Some are tested more severely than others. Sickness, like earning our bread "in the sweat of our face", is a result of the fall into sin. Everyone suffers in some way as a result of the fall, but not in the same measure as others. The one who suffers more is not necessarily more sinful in God's sight. True, a person by his sins can bring on a sickness, but there is a great deal of sickness that is not the result of a particular sin. Of a man who was born blind, Jesus said: "It was neither that this man sinned nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him" (John 9:3).

There has been much discussion as to why some must suffer so severely. We can answer this question partially, but only partially. Also through sickness God wants to draw us closer to Himself. Through sickness many have come to realize the vanity and fleeting nature of earthly things, but have found an everlasting treasure in Christ. The suffering of the sick speaks to those who are well and tests their love. We have been called to alleviate suffering and preserve life. The Fifth Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill", obligates us to do this. The value of a human life is not measured by the benefit that a person can bring to society. A person has a right to live and that in itself is of value. True love is not self?seeking.

God's method of operation includes the use of means. He gives us food, warmth, shelter, medications, etc. He, of course, does not drop them straight from heaven, but He rather wants us to work, to use His works of creation to our advantage and to act in a rational manner. He has already in creation given us gifts that He wants us to use. God does not want us to reject these means that have been given us and to do nothing put pray for miracles. The Apostle Paul urges Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach ailments (1 Tim. 5:23). He did not heal Trophimus but left him to convalesce at Miletus (2 Tim. 4:20). Paul calls Luke "the beloved physician" (Col. 4:14), not a former physician. Paul wrote to the Colossians and warned them about a certain false teaching. Its promoters were "taking their stand on visions" (Col. 2:18) they had seen, demanding that the people adhere to Old Testament ceremonies such as the sabbath, and forbidding them to make use of God's created world. They said: "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch" (Col. 2:21). The letter to the Colossians was also read to the congregation at Laodicea. There was a medical school in their city. It is very probable that the students at this school became interested in the Christianity, when they heard that the "beloved physician" was one of its followers.

Physicians and medications are for the purpose of sustaining life. A Christian prays that God will bless medical science and uses its services with thanksgiving. To reject these services is to tempt God.

The Bible does, it's true, also speak of miracles. God has granted them during special critical times. Jesus' miracles proved Him to be the Son of God. The miracles that the Apostles performed confirmed their word to be the Word of God (Mark 16:20). The purpose of the miracles was therefore to encourage people to remain in God's Word, and not to lead them away from it. Miracles are not in all cases marks of true faith because they also appear in the kingdom of Christ's adversary (2 Thess. 2:9).

All things, including medical science, can be misused; for instance, to serve lovelessness, selfishness and lust. Such misuse is to be condemned as sin. The misuse of something, however, does not make its proper use impossible, but rather affirms it.