A Bad Diagnosis


My husband and I love watching House. That’s the medical drama about the damaged but brilliant doctor who solves medical mysteries that elude other doctors. He is usually the last hope for his patients and because of that, unlike other medical shows where a patient is devastated to receive a dire diagnosis; these patients welcome the life-altering news.

Why is that? Often because the patients have suffered with symptoms they know are real. They’ve tried, sometimes, dozens of other avenues for treatment and cure. More often than not, the incorrect treatment was not only ineffective for solving their problem; it created more problems and sometimes threatened their lives. The correct diagnosis, even if it is a terrible one, is better than not knowing the truth.

My husband’s life has been a real life House episode for over five years now as he’s battled a mystery illness and pursued courses of treatment that created more problems than they cured. When we prepare to visit a new doctor to receive test results now, we’re more devastated to have no answers than we would be if we were receiving news of a life-threatening disease with a name.

My college psychology professor used to say “the facts are our friends; truth is always on our side no matter what that truth is.” An inaccurate diagnosis, a wrong course of treatment, false hopes – these are the enemies – not the truth.

This is why most Christians were relieved to learn the condemning news that they are sinners with no hope of saving themselves.

See, we knew something was wrong inside us – something life threatening. We suffered from the symptoms but could not find the root cause no matter where we looked – and we looked. We pursued all kinds of false diagnoses. We tried every self-help treatment available and followed every healer who told us they knew the cure for what ailed us. Those false cures were not only ineffective; they usually created more problems, some of them life-threatening.

Then, one day, someone told us they knew what was wrong with us. That person may have exhibited compassion or they may have been as cold as Dr. House, but they knew the truth about our condition – we were sinners with no hope of saving ourselves facing a sentence of death. Rather than be offended or devastated by the news, we were relieved to hear the truth that somehow we already knew. We’d suffered the symptoms of our sinful condition for so long we were ready for the cure.

And THAT was the good news. The cure was available for us. The cure of trusting Jesus Christ with our lives. No longer did we have to search bookstores and drugstores, gurus and shamans, backrooms or bedrooms for treatments that only quieted the symptoms but did nothing to touch the disease. Now we were free to pursue the effective treatment available through a relationship with the God of the universe.

Just like on House, for some the evidence of the cure was immediate but for others it took time but the Great Physician has a 100% survival rate among those who are willing to receive the truth and trust His prescription for their lives.

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13 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Great post. I’ll never look at House in the same way again!

  2. Lynda, thank you for dropping by!

  3. God is the author of all that is good. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Joe Crowley says:

    Yes, for me the cure was radically life changing, you should have known me before, or not. And, although eternal in its promises, for the people around its effects can’t come quickly enough! Praying for your Dr. House day.

  5. My radical change continues after over 45 years of following Jesus! I’m glad I know you now – as strange and wonderful as you are currently made!

  6. Thank you for your candid story. What a wonderful analogy! As someone who suffers daily with pain due to fibromyalgia, I know exactly what you mean. Before my diagnosis, I wondered at one point if it was all in my head. I was elated to learn that there truly was a medical cause for my symptoms. I am so glad I know the One who can carry me through. The One who held out the gift of hope and eternal life that I was also so delighted to receive. Blessings! Kelly.

  7. Kelly, thank you so much for telling your story! Years ago, I suffered with lupus and I recall the same concern that it was all in my head. After 15 years with lupus, God healed me so I’ve been a healed believer and an unhealed believer. He is faithful throughout it all, isn’t He! God bless you, Kelly.

  8. Mary Moss says:

    Lori, this is a wonderful post. I too praise God as the Great Healer. He healed me of my carpel tunnel syndrome, which was so debilitating I couldn’t even type some days.

    I don’t know what I would have done! 🙂

    Blessings to you as you minister to so many.

  9. Wonderful to hear your story, Mary! I’m certainly glad God freed your hands for typing! It blesses the rest of us.

  10. Cheri says:

    Lori,

    What a perfect analogy. Your blog blesses me so much! Thank you!

    Cheri

  11. Jessica S. says:

    I only watch House! This is an excellent post. Thank you for sharing your blog with me! 🙂

  12. lelia says:

    Oh very good!
    I can only watch House when my husband is elsewhere. He hates House with a passion because he had cruel professors like that.