What a time it has been!  The  health-care reform package has passed.  Some of us were opposed; others were very excited about the new bill.  It was, and in fact remains, a very divisive topic.  Personally, I’m saddened, because I’m concerned for the economy and for my future.  But that is precisely why I’m writing this today.

I was discussing the bill with a friend who is very much in favor of the legislation.  I was becoming angry and frustrated, trying to explain my position to him.  After we were finished talking (and I was back to my normal brain again), I realized how badly I behave sometimes.   And I realized that losing my temper over this  bill is not the way to go.

If I call myself a Christian, I can debate, and I can have strong feelings, and I can even (if I’m careful) have some righteous indignation over things I consider to be wrong.  But I cannot, I must not, forget that earth is not my home, power is not my inheritance and money is not my reward.

The future of health-care in America may be very bright, or very bleak, but my ultimate future is not tied to that.  This is a truth that should transform physicians who are Christians.  But too often, Christian docs simply try to do a good job as doctors,  become embroiled in political and economic anxiety and look to our retirement accounts as the end-game for our careers.

Here’s the thing.  There is no book in the Bible called 1 Retirements, or Paul’s letter to the Conservatives and Progressives, or Proverbs on Wealth Accumulation.  There’s no doxology that says, ‘and now may the power of God give you influence with politicians and stabilize the market, for the sake of Christ, amen.’

Our reward is not here, ladies and gentlemen.  And it isn’t just physicians who must realize it.  We have been blessed for now, but that may all evaporate into dust.  ‘But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.’  Matthew 6:20.  That’s Jesus talking, by the way.  Jesus who ‘was, and is and is to come.’  He sees the fragile nature of wealth and position.  He was warning us not to count on it.

But he was not opposed to reward.  Read it again:  ‘store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.’  That means reward; good things; imperishable things.  Our reward for loving and serving him, and for fulfilling our calling is not stuff, not vacation homes, not endless golf outings or appointments by universities or government. Our reward is in heaven.

As is our home.  ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.’  1 Peter 1: 3-5

I’ll continue to speak my mind about politics and economics; about medicine and what’s best for my patients…and my family!  But I pray that I will continue to keep the goal in mind, which is to be a citizen of heaven, where health-care will be irrelevant; where there will be no ‘end-of-life’ that needs care, and where there will be only the economics of our connection to the source of all…Jesus Christ.

Remember, we are waiting for something better than we have here.  And as my physics professor Dr. Ellwyn Bellis said, ‘Ah, but the reward for virtue is not in this life.’  As did the writer of Hebrews, when he referred to the great men and women of the faith, who should be our examples:

‘Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.’  Hebrews 11:16

Go forth and don’t worry,  my friends.  Your accounts may tank, you may be sued, you may lose  much,  you may have to work for the government and live under a truck-load of regulations.  But it’s only temporary.  Because what you own in Christ can never, ever, be legislated or taxed away.

God bless you richly, today and always!

Edwin

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