Surgical spirit: God’s perspective

Ruth Eardley is a GP and member of Affinity partner Little Hill Church, Leicester. She writes a regular piece for her church entitled 'Surgical Spirit'. We have been given permission to reproduce them. Here is her first contribution for us:

God’s perspective
‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’  (Revelation 22:13)

Many years ago, an old lady came to the surgery full of grief and anguish because her husband had just died. Her doctor prescribed a few sleeping tablets just to get her through the next couple of weeks. ‘Have you thought about ‘CRUSE’?’ he asked. ‘I’m sure you would find help there.’

CRUSE is a specialist bereavement counselling charity and they had an office in the town centre. Do you remember the jug of oil in the story of Elijah (1 Kings 17)? The charity was founded in 1959, and the name is derived from that miraculous jug (called a ‘cruse’ in the King James Bible), signifying that their support never runs out.

‘Right’, said the old lady, ’and where exactly is this place?’ The doctor explained the location of the charity which was based above a travel agent. ‘And please touch base with me in a month or two so I know how you are getting on’, he said.

It was nearer three months when the lady came back. She looked tanned and fit and confided that she was doing a lot better. ‘I’m so pleased you gave me that advice, doctor. I’ve never been on a cruise before and it really opens your eyes.’

She started to talk about a trip she had taken on an ocean liner, the many elderly people on board and how she had befriended another widow. She met several others similarly bereaved. ‘We were all in the same boat’, she said, ‘literally!’

She had travelled to far-flung places. She had seen poverty and squalor. ‘Those poor street children', she said. ‘It broke my heart.’

There were difficult days ahead, readjustments to be made and a new life to lead. But now, thanks to a misunderstanding about the travel agent and the sort of cruse/cruise she was to access, she had an entirely different perspective.

We are trapped in time. Our struggles and sorrows naturally fill our whole horizon. But God sees the end from the beginning. He has an eternal perspective that we cannot comprehend. When our perspective is grim, we must cling to his person and his promises.

'For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’  (Jeremiah 29:11)


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