Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Discovering the Old among the New
As I have been studying the Bible while Lindsey is in Florida helping her Dad, I have be drawn to trying to understand more about the God I serve in relation to what often feels like overwhelming odds in the form of disease, natural disaster, and corrupted human nature. So many people are touched in one way or another by these things and with the advances in medical technology, people have ceased to "die," but have now fallen prey to cancer, heart disease, hunger, and all manner of diseases. We've given these beasts a name and it makes it seem so new and alarming, but the truth is, it's not new at all. Ecclesiastes 1:9-14 tell us, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." This is not disheartening at all in light of the fact that while we are put to death by all manner of ailments, God has not changed once. These grievances and painful wounds are new to us, but not to Him and not to the world. It is our great pleasure to tell a dying world of the unchanging God we serve and it is our responsibility as Christians to search His word for the answers to these questions. For myself, the struggle isn't in recognizing that God is in control or that He is sovreign, it is wanting to feel unique in MY disease or MY struggles. I want to be in control and noticed. The fact is, God is more powerful than all of these diseases, and His will trumps my longing for control. This is and always has been a good thing. People have been dying for years of diseases and tragedies and while we now know the names of them through advances in science and the speed at which news finds us through technology, the outcome for our flesh has not changed. God has defeated death (1 Cor. 15:55) and while death may still be a tormentor of the surviving and the dying, it's not new to God and I thank Him for not being new to me. While I'm sure it seems silly to some, it helps me to know that God is not just learning of pain, cancer, heart disease, and all manner of ailments as we so often do when it touches us and our loved ones. He's not surprised or left dumfounded that His children are suffering from one ailment or another, but quick to listen and comfort. God is always present, involved, and moving in this world, as He has always been. My response to knowing this about Him (and life in general) is that I have to study and teach those aroud me so that when these trials of life become new to them, the answers of old will be the same relevant truths to them as they were to Job, David, and Paul.