When God is Forgotten

Ryan Lees
If Christianity doesn't have anything to say about the life we live day by day, it has little to offer. In these present times, we are certainly feeling the need for clear guidance and thinking regarding our health and bodies. It would behoove us to consider carefully what God has to say about our health, lest we be subject to the foolishness of the godless. I have spent the past three or so years considering the intersection of leadership, theology, and science in the context of my work as a health professional as I studied at Regent College in Vancouver. I have thought deeply about the nature and role of our bodies in our lives and about health and sickness, and how we might best respond to them in light of God’s revelation to us. To that end, there are three reminders about our bodies that may be of some help as we consider the state of our world and how we might choose to respond. 
My first reminder is that your body is good. That is not to say that there are not some who have a heavier cross to bear in this regard and who were born with an inherent weakness in their body. Nevertheless, God thought of your body ahead of time and made it especially for you. He doesn’t make mistakes, and so your body is how he wants it to be. Whatever else you may think about your body, it is a gift from God that gives you energy from which you live your life, provides the means by which you work and do acts of service to love others, and through which you experience his creation. Your body is good. It is amazingly complex and well designed for life on earth and is very much a part of who you are and who you will become. Neither is your body something to fear or fret about; you do not have to worry about what it might do to you. No matter what happens, if you belong to Jesus, he will not let evil get inside you. It is essential for you to come to realize this in a deeply experiential way because much of what is going on in the world at the moment preys upon the fear people secretly harbour about their bodies. 
The second thing I would like to bring to your attention is that your body is strong in addition to being well made. Paul Brand wrote a book called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, which does an excellent job of elucidating your body’s wondrous complexities. Think of all the things your body does without you paying any attention to it at all. Your heart beats at the right speed while your hormones are balanced just so. Even while this goes on, your body can turn the chicken you ate for lunch into new skin to heal that scrape on your elbow. How does it do this? God imbued your body with a wonderfully capable intelligence that knows how these things work. Consider this: at this very moment, inside and outside your body are millions of bacteria, viruses, fungi that would quickly reduce your body to a liquid mass of putrefying jelly were it not for the wonders of your immune system working tirelessly on your behalf. Throughout your life, you are exposed to all sorts of viruses and bacteria that your body has successfully fought off. There is nothing new under the sun! Your body is capable and able to deal effectively with most things that come your way. You know this, for you have experienced this inside your own body. 
My last point is a little more challenging to accept and come to believe, but it is probably the most important, and that is that this world is a perfectly safe place for us to be. It was made for us, and we were made suitable to live in it. But most of us haven’t come to trust God well enough to know this and rest in it. Do you recall in Matthew 8:23-27 when Jesus was asleep in the boat as the waves crashed over the gunwales and the disciples became somewhat freaked out? Jesus called them “little-faiths”. Why was that since they had faith enough in Jesus to wake him so he could save them from the storm? What they didn’t have was the faith of Jesus that knew that even if their boat sank, all would be well. This is the faith we need. God sees us, he has made provision for us, and he has made a way for us. Though we will have trouble in the world, he promises us unbroken care for the whole of our lives.
Before relating this to the present, I would like you to consider how people have historically responded to times of disaster in the past. When earthquakes, fires, or floods occur, what do people do? Do they not rally behind and beside one another, sacrificing for the good of their neighbours, extending themselves and risking themselves to come to the aid of those in need? And in years gone by when poverty, sanitation, and living conditions were not what they are now, and plagues occasionally visited the land, what did Christians do? They nursed and cared for the sick and afflicted when others ran in fear. They stepped in and filled the gap in the face of grave danger to themselves. Their love and fearlessness became a great and shining testimony to the lost around them. In short, people united, sacrificed, stood firm and continued living. But what are we being asked to do today?
Since Jesus said that you could tell the nature of something by the fruit it bears, I would like you to consider the sort of fruit we are currently subject to. We are told to stay apart and treat each other with suspicion, even to snitch on and judge one another. We are told to shut down our businesses, and the sick are forced to isolate themselves from their families, which are the very people that give them strength enough to keep on living. The dying die alone, and we are not allowed adequate opportunities for grieving together the loss of our loved ones. If you objectively evaluate the evidence, you would have to conclude that this sort of fruit can only come from an evil source. The virus is not the difficulty, the real problem is the world system that has reacted in a way that does not acknowledge God’s involvement in our lives and health. Have we forgotten that God made our bodies strong and good and that he has made the world a safe place for us to be? Would we respond differently in our remembering? Have we placed our trust upon the world’s systems that promote measures that are counter to what is good and right? Do we look anxiously to science and vaccines to save us from something that we don’t need to be protected from or do we look confidently to God who will guide us through these trying times and show us how to care for those who are vulnerable? There is nothing new under the sun!
Our forgetfulness of God’s direct involvement in our actual lives and health has made us vulnerable. Remembering his goodness to us and clearing our eyes may sober us and help us rise to our feet and stand for what is good and right and sensible. There are enough Christians yet in the world that if we all were to stand firm and together in our various stations in life, this sort of evil would not be able to take hold and wreak its harm. May we each turn resolutely to Him who is able to help us respond appropriately in our times of desperation. 

Ryan Lees  works as a chiropractor by trade and loves helping people in this way.  But what he really desires is a deeper and daily experience of Jesus and the life he offers to all of us.  In turn, he wants the good news of the availability of this life and how to take hold of it made known to all who wish to find it.