Saturday, August 7, 2010
New series: The Christian's perspective on meds
I've written a new series, five parts so far. I don't know if anyone else is interested in this topic, but it's something my mom and I and my husband and I spend a lot of time talking about. Medicines are such a large part of our lives today. Most Americans are on at least one prescription med and many take 3 or more on a regular basis. Advertising by the pharmaceutical industry has ushered in an era where patients go to their doctors already knowing the particular medication they would like to have prescribed in many cases. It's a brave new world! When I went back to school 9 years ago I viewed drugs from a mixed perspective of mystery and awe. As I studied pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, biopharmaceutics, and other disciplines in the pharmaceutical sciences I became even more amazed at the complexity of life, but something else happened as well. As I grew in my understanding of how certain meds work along with their adverse effects, my reservations of using them increased in proportion. My goal for this series is to present a balanced and biblical view of the place medicine should have and should not have in our lives.
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12
I try to keep a running dialog with my kids about God’s marvelous creation. This gives us lots of small opportunities to praise God for what He has made. My young children always resort to asking me if God made this or that. For instance, did God make the grass? Yes, of course. Did God make the trees? Yes, of course. Did God make cars? My answer to this question is a bit more complicated and goes something like this: God made man in His image with creativity and ingenuity and He also made the natural resources that can in turn be used by man to make cars. Whew, children are little philosophers, aren’t they? Such deep questions come out of the mouths of babes! So what does this have to do with drugs and medicines? God made them, of course, either directly or indirectly. You might be surprised to learn that many medicines that we do not think of as “holistic” such as aspirin and morphine have natural origins. God made them. The active ingredient in aspirin is found in the bark of the willow tree. (Isn't it fun to think about the first time someone discovered that chewing willow bark relieved pain?) Another example is morphine, which is derived from the poppy plant. My point is simply that if God made them, they must have some purpose on our planet and in our lives. The Christian should first and foremost recognize medicines and drugs as created by God for some purpose. This allows us to praise Him for His creative genius and thank Him for His great mercy. He made these natural medicines prior to the fall, and declared them to be good, in anticipation of our need for them. Isn’t that amazing? God is so good!
Stay tuned for the next post in this series. I'm setting them to release at intervals while I'm on vacation. I'll check in to respond to comments so fire away if this topic interests you. In fact, if you want to interact on this topic, I've started a discussion on the Christian's perspective on meds in my blogfrog community.
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.