What exactly is health? As a physician Osteopath, I am confronted with this question daily. How do we measure health? Is it in a momentary measurement – a blood pressure reading, for example? Or is it in a season like childhood, adolescence, or late adulthood? Or is it better to measure this over a lifetime, or an eternity? The interval of our perspective will determine our expectations of health.
But there is more. Simply measuring or evaluating an interval of life is not sufficient. Certainly, in one catastrophic moment, an interval or an entire life may be changed. So, we go back to our momentary measures. But we realize that the precise contextual timing of our measure will determine our view of health. For example, a specific heart rate that is adequate at the moment of sitting will not do at the moment of a sprint. And this is true of anything we can measure (and anything we cannot). The whole system must adapt to conditions of the moment. And the requirements of health in each moment will also be very different. So, there must be instantaneous health, and an ongoing adaptation as well. So, how might this be accomplished?
One thing to understand is that each molecule has its own vibration, its own rhythm, its own relationship to time. Each cell, each tissue, each organ, each body system also has its own rhythm. Eastern medicine honors these rhythms by recognizing that each individual organ is most active at a particular hour of the day, and thus is most amenable to healing (or injury) at a particular hour of the day. Further, there is a rhythm to weeks, and months, and seasons and years, and even longer cycles to which our organs, and systems, and bodies are all sensitive. There is a best time in a day, a best time in a month, a best time in a year, a best time in life cycle to apply certain healing modalities. And this is true of our minds, and spirits as well.
These principles are well illustrated by the rhythms of life set into the scriptures. And these rhythms are nearly always organized around rest. And this is because healing occurs best in periods of rest. “Take these pills and call me in the morning,” comes from the need for sleep to be the most potent remedy. And the first rhythm we see in scripture is the need for sleep. Just like it is after a workout, while we are resting, that the muscles rebuild, it is while resting that all of our healing processes are maximized. Further, we have a rhythm to our week. The Lord commanded that we take one day out of the week to devote purely to rest. So great was the importance, that God Himself modeled this for us. In addition, there are at least three full weeks in a year that are set aside free from working and daily routine, one year in seven that is special, and then a full-system reset that occurs every fifty years. The rhythms of rest are the rhythms of healing and restoration.
That is not to say that instant healing is unavailable. Quite the opposite. The scripture is replete with examples of the blind having sight restored, the lame being made to walk, even the dead rising at the command of our Saviour. These demonstrate the power of God over both time and healing. But further, they point to His concern over timing. At the right time, Christ came (Galatians 4). At the right time Christ died (Romans 5:6). At the appointed time all things will be restored (Acts 3). God demonstrates his power by demonstrating both the point of healing and the process of healing. He is Lord over both. He is LORD over all. Christ has come at the proper time to begin the process of restoration to wholeness. And He will unite all things in himself (Ephesians 1:10). And He will restore all things to perfect wholeness (Acts 3:21).
So then, perhaps health is not a thing, or even a moment. Perhaps it is more a symphony of harmonious times and timings–a dynamic, moving, living, continual process established by the Creator that is a picture of His continual working toward the restoration of Perfection. This process is punctuated by moments of intense and instantaneous healing, much like our translation from kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. But we look forward to the completion of the work, when the process is finished, and the final moment of miraculous, instantaneous healing is accomplished when all things are finally made Whole.