Wrote this a week ago.
I just read a great reminder of a reality that is so easy to forget. It’s in John 5 after Jesus heals the lame man by the pool.
John 5:16-17 in the NLT: So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied,“My Father is always working,and so am I.”
Here is the greater context of the healing that brought on this statement:
10 So the Jews said to the man who was cured,“It is the sabbath,it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet.” 11 But he answered them,“The man who healed me said to me,‘Take up your pallet,and walk.’” 12 They asked him,“Who is the man who said to you,‘Take up your pallet,and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was,for Jesus had withdrawn,as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward,Jesus found him in the temple,and said to him,“See,you are well! Sin no more,that nothing worse befall you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus,because he did this on the sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them,“My Father is working still,and I am working.”
A phrase jumped out at me: ALWAYS working. That is some welcome news. I don’t know about you,but I see these as hard days in which we live. World news aside,local news has been a hard and biting reality. God seems more silent these days. The husband of a former student of mine just hung himself —this after a rash of 3 attempted copycat hangings in the last two weeks (two of which involved families of people I see regularly). There is a disease that is killing young children on the Native American reservation where I work;the highest death toll in the world from this disease is right in the region where I work. Two people I see every day there —their 7 month old and 4 year old kids have it. The CDC just came in to investigate,and nothing new is being done afterwards. Nearly every one of my students will have less money for groceries now that food stamp rations have been cut;they need to live on $4.57 rations a day per person. Criticize SNAP and food stamps programs all you like,but that is not enough money for a single mom to support her family’s nutritional needs. A bright,young,pregnant women I see on a regular basis,I have just discovered,regularly uses meth. She is a mom of one already. There are close friends whose marriages are about to break apart any day now,and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Another close friend just lost a local election,I’m certain,to voter fraud. There is a lot of stuff happening all around that cause me to doubt,that horrify me,or that also make me very upset.
Different things help me keep my sanity:exercise,watching K-drama with my wife,heaping physical affection on my kids,solitude,and small successes at work. But I’d be lying if I said I was embracing all this reality well. I more often than not escape it. This verse gives me something to place before me;it confronts me and calls out to me. My Father is always working –even when it doesn’t seem like it. As I live my small existence everyday,trying to transform more into Christ and trying to spread the peace and rule of Christ where I walk,it’s so easy to forget. God is at work. Always. And because of that,so can I. So should I.
So back into the world we go… Hopefully,armed this time with an ounce more of faith than I had yesterday.