Although I am strictly in a non-clinical role at the health system where I work, I can appreciate N.T. Wright’s analogy of a physician needing to get to the root of a patient’s problem before he or she can make a definitive diagnosis and offer a satisying remedy or cure. When a friend of mine first presented herself to our Emergency Department six years ago, she thought she was having a heart attack. Had her physicians only treated her based on her own assumption, the cancerous mass she was hosting would have gone undetected. The doctor had to ask the right questions and order tests before the appropriate treatment could be administered. And of course, what followed wasn’t an easy or pleasant fix. As anyone who’s familiar with radiation and chemotherapy knows, the “cure” sometimes seems worse than the disease. What “I” wanted was for the doctor to say, take this little pill and your cancer will be gone by morning. But I know her doctors are prescribing the best course of treatment available to help her.
So too, I’d love it if the ills of mankind could be fixed in a clean and simple way. But I know I need to trust God and his ways. I know that he hates sin and the devastation it causes his creation far more than I do because he understands how incredible things could have been had we not rebelled. I know that he doesn’t act out of spite or petty feelings. His motivations are pure and motivated by love and justice. So, if painful, horrific events need to take place before peace can reign, I will trust it is the best course of treatment to bring about the best outcome.