“…the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath…” (Mark 2:27)
The scene was a classic last night.
Busy doctors. Frantic nurses. Anxious relatives. I, myself, wasn’t spared from the worry as I stood watch over my younger sister whom we rushed to the emergency room because of severe abdominal pains.
In the midst of the flurry, however, was a dear Christian friend (a brother from my Catholic prayer group), one of the chief doctors on duty that night at the emergency room of this top hospital in the city. And unlike most of the people in that room, my friend was the picture of calmness, confidence and control. He spoke with clarity and some humor. He accommodated with deference all the queries, not only from the concerned relatives of the patients, but also from his pool of interns who assisted him. He gave orders with respect, without failing to give out words of affirmation to all those who served with him that night. Sometimes, I wonder if God, on a grander scale, does the same thing…
Friend, the world that we live in is the macrocosm of an emergency room. In every aspect of our lives, there are problems constantly begging for our attention.
The mortgage payments. The drug-addicted son. The teenage unwed mother. The malignant growth. All of them characterize the plight of our fallen existence. But in the midst of our panic, worries and anxieties, there is our God, the one who stands head and shoulders above all, remaining calm and composed, not out of indifference, but of confidence, knowing that He is in control.
If God is in control, what then controls God?
In the gospel of Mark, when the Pharisees questioned Jesus about the conduct of his disciples on the day of the Sabbath, Jesus replied, “…the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath…” (Mark 2:27). Based on this statement, it is quite evident that what controls Jesus are not burdensome legalities, but love. Rules, for him, are there to advance nothing less than the cause of love. Love alone motivates God.
God lays down rules because of love.
God gives us success because of love.
God blesses us financially because of love
God grants our prayers because of love.
And yes, God allows suffering because of love.
Are you in the midst of some kind of chaos in your life now? Trust in the truth that God allows this to happen to you, not out of vengeance or hatred, but love.
My doctor-friend, just like the God he serves, in the midst of tiredness and fatigue after many hours of hospital duty, still managed to show concern and exhibit care, because of love. Love for his vocation. Love for his staff. Love for his patients. And love for his God.
Friend, the next time you go through one of those emergencies of life, take courage, you are more important than the Sabbath, and the One in the midst of your chaos is Love.
A blessed day!
I remain, your friend in Christ,