And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. ~ Luke 9:11, KJV

God does the healing; we do the cooperating. Jesus had commissioned the disciples to go preach the gospel and heal the sick. When they returned and reported their success privately to Jesus, the people heard about it and came to join the celebration recorded in Luke 9. For more than 100 years, Seventh-day Adventist medical education has promoted that same teaching/healing model given to the disciples by Christ.

With the advent of “miracle drugs” and other modern medical advances, it is easy to forget the true source of healing. For example, all the antibiotics in the world will be of no benefit if the immune system designed by our Creator is not working (as when it is suppressed by poor nutrition or the use of alcohol and tobacco). The principle that “God does the healing, we do the cooperating” is important to remember and apply whenever illness occurs. The case of Marty exemplifies the value of this understanding.

Marty developed joint pain when he was just 4 years old, but it was not diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis until several years later. By the time I saw him during his teenage years, he had severe swelling and pain in many of his joints, as well as damage to surrounding tissue. Fortunately, with the use of medication, he gradually improved and was able to graduate from high school. Then I didn’t see him for several years and I assumed he was doing well. However, fifteen years later he showed up one day in my office in a wheel chair, unable to stand without assistance.

I told Marty that new medicine was available that might help him to walk again; but he would have to take a weekly injection and work hard with physical therapy, including pool exercises. I also told him about the research showing it is best to avoid red meat and cigarette smoke for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. He was willing to do his part in the healing process. When I saw him again recently, he was so grateful to be walking and able to drive his truck. He said, “You gave me my life back!” I had to tell Marty I couldn’t take credit since “God does the healing, we do the cooperating!”

Edwin H. Krick, LLUSM class of 1961, is associate professor in LLUSM department of medicine, division of rheumatology. He was LLUSM Alumni Association president from 1979 to 1980 and was LLUSM Alumni Association 1988 Alumnus of the Year. This story is dedicated to his uncle, Roy B. Parsons Sr, LLUSM class of 1929, who served for fifty years as a missionary in Africa. Inspired by his uncle to take medicine, he later became missionary to Japan, where he served for eight years and was the third American to pass medical boards in Japanese.