Wanting the Healer

February 19, 2019
Wanting the Healer Al Weir, MD February 19, 2019

“…for I am the Lord, who heals you” (Exodus 15:26b, NIV 1984).

He was a bit short of breath as he sat on the side of his bed, trying to regain his strength after a therapy complication had placed him on dialysis.
“I think we will hold your cancer treatment for a few weeks,” I told him.
“That will be good,” he said. “It makes me weak.”
“We need you to get your strength back and then we can deal with all your other stuff,” I continued.
He nodded, and then, after a pause for reflection, added, “You know, Cathy and I have decided that we are going to start seeking the Healer more than the healing.”

Ken Jones, my wise friend from California, once told me that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who get it and those who don’t get it. This man got it.

The very central purpose in God’s great redemptive plan is to bring us close to Him—the whole point of life, the basis for creation, the motive for the cross. And yet, we live out most of our days wandering off toward self-fulfillment—unless one day we decide to seek the pearl of great price. (Matt 13:46) This couple found that pearl in the midst of failing health. Praise God! The pearl is truly there and can be found.

How can we weigh the value of a couple’s struggle that has helped them crawl into the arms of the Creator? Though their pain was great and no less severe than the pain of others, there blossomed in the dark forest of their suffering a purpose within their distress, a purpose more valuable than freedom from pain—their words, not mine.

Though none of us wish to suffer, when my time comes, I pray that I might, like them, use the pain to draw me closer to the Healer of all suffering. And that will make it worth it all.

Natalie Grant sings it beautifully in her recent song:

Help me want the Healer more than the healing.
Help me want the Savior more than the saving.
Help me want the Giver more than the giving.
Help me want you, Jesus, more than anything.

Dear Father,
It is You I seek, as the world does what it will to pull me away.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.