A small goofy hunch back office intern with heavy black-rimmed glasses scampers into a phone booth and closes the door. Then the moment of dramatic prose is shattered as a seven foot tall, square jawed gentleman, now a glistening man of steel with bulging and rippling muscles and sleek combed-back hair with deep piercing eyes kicks aside the rickety glass door. Tada! Transformed in the twinkling of an eye the super hero has come to save the damsel in distress. In comic literature the moment of transformation occurs at the height of the story as the battle between good and bad reaches its hiatus.
Looking at the news headlines today we read of diseases and epidemics, financial constraints and recessions, devastating earth quakes, Tsunamis and threats of global warming are the fodder of both red top tabloids and conservative dailies. God in his sovereignity has underlined the fact that tomorrow is promised to no man. We are constantly being reminded of the fickle nature of life and man’s mortality since the fall. A recurring question has always been , ‘why does God allow such suffering and why do bad things happen to good people?’
Through times of suffering we realise how weak we are, and how totally dependent we are on God. We learn that we can trust in the promises of the Bible, knowing that God is sovereign and He only lets us suffer as much as we can endure; and that He has promised to give us the strength to meet all our needs – and that includes M.E.! We are always in His hand and kept “under the shadow of the Almighty”. On Eagles Wings –A Christian Perspective on ME
For some who thought M.E stands for the self, M.E stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. It is basically a neurological condition characterised by multi-system failure causing muscle fatigue, flu-like symptoms, digestive problems, exhaustion which is not alleviated by rest, as well as many other problems which can vary from person to person.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. Job 23:10
I must say, we should all remember that the Bible teaches that we are all limited in our understanding and that there is no way that any one of us can have a clear picture of reality on this side of eternity. What we see in this life as human tragedy has to be measured against the full scope of eternity.
The Bible does mention that there is coming a time when in the twinkling of an eye there will be a transformation and departure from this earth of the elect-God’s people. I am so looking forward to that great day when in the twinkling of an eye this will happen:
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the TWINKLING OF AN EYE, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 1 Cor 15:52
Somebody asked if these glorified bodies will have six pack abdominal muscles. Another said we will probably talk with Charles Spurgeon’s accent or better still perfect King James English. One way or another there will come an end to all these mortal bodies that limit us. This mortal body must put on immortality. We won’t worry about health insurance, swine flu or global warming or splinters in fingers or trials and tribulations…or even taxes! My best life will commence when I eventually see the scripture come to pass that says “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:4)
God will allow bad things to happen to His people to wean them from the world. To help us break our attachments to the world because we tend to trust in the wrong worldly things, resources, human reason and money and power and prestige and influence and friendships and whatever else. And the Lord brings us to trials in order that we might be weaned away from confidence in worldly things.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.Rom 8:18-19
Trusting Jesus and becoming a Born again Christian may not give you a six pack abdomen, or make you ‘cool’ and you might not necessarily even become richer as some claim these days. On the contrary- Your sins will be forgiven, and you will have the assurance of eternal life in heaven. However Jesus said who ever will choose to follow him will realise he is going to walk along a small narrow road and there is a small narrow gate. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” You may not be a super hero in this life but God promised He will always be you and will never leave nor forsake you till the end of the age. The day will come when that trumpet shall surely sound and like a superhero you will be changed in a moment…in the twinkling of an eye.
Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel was a seventeenth century hymn writer. Not much is known about her apart from the deduction that her surname (‘von’) was of probable aristocratic birth. She wrote the words to Be Still my Soul, I would like to recommend the healing words or her rich poetry to anyonewho may have received bad news or if you have found yourself asking why God may have allowed something bad happen to them. Take comfort in these few words:
“Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain, leave to thy God to order and provide, in every change He faithful will remain. Be still my soul, thy best thy heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Be still my soul, thy God doth undertake to guide the future as He has the past, thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake. All now mysterious shall be bright at last, be still my soul, the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below. Be still my soul, the hour is hastening on when we shall be forever with the Lord, when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrows forgot. Love’s purest joy is restored. Be still my soul, when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.” – Katharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel (1697-1768)