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I spent a lot of time this week at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where my father had aortic valve replacement surgery on Wednesday.  As I sat with him in his room, spent time in waiting rooms, and walked the corridors of this sprawling medical center, I was struck by just how many different physicians, nurses, and various kinds of technicians I encountered around every single corner on every hallway of every floor.

Cardiologists, pulmonologists, endocrinologists, pediatricians, neurologists, OB/GYNs, anesthesiologists, surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, psychiatrists, geneticists, orthopedic specialists, ENTs, gastroenterologists, ER doctors, and on and on the list could go; all of them supported and assisted by countless nurses, techs, and other staff. And that was just one hospital in one city. Multiply that by all of the hospitals in Baton Rouge, and in places like Dallas, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Atlanta. Add to that all of the family practitioners in every town of any size at all across the country. Multiply that by all of the countries around the world.

Why so many medical professionals? Why do they stay scheduled and booked for weeks, sometimes months, in advance? Why do they have such incredible job security? Because there is an incalculable amount of sickness, pain, disease, injury, discomfort, debilitation, and disability in this world.

I was reminded this week about how much of life revolves around sickness. It is everywhere. It is relentless. No family is exempt. No individual is immune.

Such is life. Such is this life. But, such is not the life to come.

The apostle John was granted an apocalyptic glimpse and vision of our perfected existence beyond the brokenness and imperfections of this life. Beside the river of life, he saw the tree of life, the leaves of which brought healing to the nations. No more curse. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more suffering. No more parting. No more tears. No more death.

Nothing, not a single thing, for doctors to do.

I can’t wait!

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