On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

The Enduring Miracle of Good Health

Give thanks for good health. It’s so easy to pray when you’re sick. It’s the first thing I do. God, I feel awful. Make me well!

Not for nothing is Jesus referred to as the Great Physician. Healing was crucial to his ministry. Again and again in the gospels we see him getting rid of diseases, “casting out demons,” as it was often expressed. No reason you shouldn’t talk to God when you feel rotten. “Heal me,” we pray.

But if you’re blessed with good health, as most of us are most of the time, celebrate. Good health is just one of those enduring miracles. So miraculous that we don’t even notice it, so miraculous we forget about it.

So put your health on your list of things to be thankful for. You might have an ache or two you’re leaving in God’s good hands, but also give him some praise for all those other things that are going right with your body and soul. That good night’s sleep, that satisfying meal, that invigorating walk, the nerves that let you feel the warmth of the sun and that hug from your best friend. You’ve got a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday? Bracket it with praise for your good health the rest of the week. Put it on the calendar.

Twenty years ago my friend Ray and I happened to have the same surgery on the same day for the removal of a tumor at the same place. I won’t go into the gory details except to say that both of our tumors turned out to be benign and we both carry little scars behind our ears, mine on the left, his on the right, a mirror image of each other.

So what do we do every spring on the anniversary of our surgery? We celebrate our good health. Here we are this year, two guys who have a lot to be thankful for. Just ask us.

Got an ailment? Got some aches and pains? Worried about a diagnosis? Waiting for the results of that most recent test? Let me pray with you and for you. The rest of the time, let me also join you in giving thanks for the enduring miracle of our good health. It’s a lot to celebrate.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.

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Your Comments (2)

Hello Rick,

Long time, indeed. I am not sure how I happened upon your posting, which, by the way, was on my birthday. Perhaps by miraculous influence.

You have me curious as to what you mean by the "miracle" of an enduring health. In popular parlance, "miracle" means something that happens despite its being contrary to according to the laws of nature. Many common illnesses and ailments are avoidable through our choices as to diet, exercise, tobacco, gun use, alcohol, and general prudence. Many diseases are genetic. Certainly, good health feels "heavenly." I'd be interested in your reflections on what the word "miracle" can mean here. Perhaps the popular meaning misses something important.

With my best wishes,


How nice to hear from you, old friend. I guess I use the term miracle pretty loosely, mostly to call attention to the wonder that most days I get out of bed and am healthy and I mostly, happily, take that state for granted, until I remember some of the things that have gone wrong with my body -- open-heart surgery a couple years back, etc. So it's nice to be thankful.

Hope you're doing well and singing as beautifully as always. godspeed. r