His arms and legs were about as thick as the IV pole. That may be an exaggeration, but for sure he was weak and the pole was just thick enough to support his frame from falling as he leaned on it from the edge of the bed. He teetered and tottered so I moved quickly to avert being hit by him and the pole. Then suddenly, it hit me. An idea that is, not the pole. It was revealed to me what all the theologians, thinkers, the prophets and priests have been unable to discern. I realized that God flips coins.
“Why me, he asked? I have never drunk liquor, I am faithful to my wife and I don’t smoke. I am a good church member and I work hard to support my family. Why me?”
I did not want to reveal to him my new found revelation, no matter how profound and true it might be. He was obviously not a deep thinker (as I am) and just dealing with his terminal illness was enough for him. So I thought of a different tact. I would not tell him that God flips coins. Instead I would tell him “God lets you pick a card out of His almighty hand.” No that won’t work. That is too easily associated with smoke filled rooms. Let me try “God lets you guess which shell the nut is under as He shuffles them around.” Hmmm! This was going to be harder than I thought.
How could I explain to him and his family members that at 27 years of age, he had an unresectable, untreatable, incurable illness? Why not just tell him the truth? The truth is; I don’t understand God and never will. God chooses to allow each of us a particular illness at a particular time based upon His infinite wisdom. It is actually written somewhere in the book.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.
God has chosen me to be the bearer of bad news in many lives every clinic day.
One day if I am blessed to be alive to hear it, God will send someone to give me some bad news about my own body. If it so happens, I pray I will not begin to think that the Almighty has a two headed coin, a stacked deck, or that there is no nut under the shell. I pray that the Holy Spirit gives me the grace to say “Why not me? After all, you have blessed me with many years of good health, strength, wholeness and joy. I would rather you choose me this time and let someone else experience some of the abundant life I have had.”
Ecclesiastes 9:12 For man also knows not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.
James 4:13-16 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
Life is not a game of chance. God has intricately ordered every step of my path. If I want to take advantage of all that He has to offer me, I should start with surrender to His will. After all, He is in control even if I hold the cards up my sleeve.