In my senior year of medical school, I was privileged to do my family practice elective on the South Pacific island of Pohnpei, part of the Federated States of Micronesia. I relished the experience and was granted the rights and privileges of a full physician, being allowed to write prescriptions, order procedures, and even admit patients to the hospital. It was an excellent preparation for my internship and a perfect way to complete my medical school training.
However, in spite of my gratitude for this valuable training, I was longing to return home. I am an information junkie and there were no magazines, newspapers, or television and this many years before the internet. The radio stations broadcast in the native Micronesian language. After two months away, I was starved to catch up on current events.
Upon my return, I immersed myself in all forms of media. Yes, there were updates on sporting events, celebrities making snarky remarks at one another, and the usual bickerings between the political parties. After spending a few hours immersed in the newspapers and current magazines, I was satisfied and discouraged. Wow! Not much has changed. The world is still screwed up!
It may have been that time in world history when not much of major significance happened in the world, If I had been away during September 11, 2001 I surely would have felt differently. Yet, in spite of world altering events like 9/11 and the current COVID19 pandemic, the fundamental problems of the world still remain. Sporting events attempt to find ways to adapt to the new safety guidelines; celebrities shame one another about social distancing; and politicians bicker about the most efficient way to balance an economic recovery and enforcing public health measures. In short, the world is still screwed up!
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 (NLT)
Thousands of years ago, God, the Holy Spirit, recorded these prescient words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. This seemingly pessimistic view of the world echoed my same sentiments many years ago. What hope is there if the same message has been repeated throughout the ages? God, as always, provides the beautiful answer. If we only focus upon the events of the world, we will be dissatisfied and discouraged. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as the answer to rising above the endless rat race and futility of human existence. If we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, He will lift us from the trials and sorrows of this world, to a relationship with the Living God.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 (NLT)
The world is still screwed up! Indeed, take heart, because Jesus Christ has overcome the world!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.