Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Where is God?
v2“In the middle of its Street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life… The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
“Am I going to die?” With seemingly gross nonchalance, her eyes reflected a general sense of hopelessness; she showed no fear, no anger, no frustration- just the simple inquiry of a patient with COVID19, struggling to breathe. Over the past 9 months, working as a physician amidst a pandemic, I have heard this question several times; far too many to count and one too many to bear, all the while raising one of my own, ‘Where is God?’
Here in the closing chapter of the Bible, John draws us back to Genesis where we first see the tree of Life. While in the beginning, the tree was used to introduce the concept of sin and break down the hubris of man, here it serves as a template of healing and rejuvenation. By seeing this same tree across the Biblical spectrum, John is essentially completing a full circle that points to the restoration of all things. The same tree that was used to indicate the downfall of man is now being used to restore and heal.
The concept of healing derived from the Greek ‘therapeian’ is not just one of physical, but rather a holistic one, inclusive of the body, spirit and mind. Whilst our earthly journey may begin with sin, it culminates at the end with the lessons that we have learnt along the way. The river is indicative of this journey- it symbolizes the turmoil we face, the pleasures we enjoy and the blessings we’re graced. When we look to either side of our river, we see the leaves of the tree. These are the tools to guide us through- the wisdom to learn the difference between right and wrong, the knowledge to understand our purpose, and the light to illuminate our path. When we look to either side of our river, we see God.
So regardless of our circumstances and trajectory in life, especially in these trying times, whether our river is smooth sailing or tumultuous, rocky, or serene, hope is just over the riverbed where we see the tree, guiding our way.
Dear Lord, Grace us with the wisdom to learn from our struggles and be a healing light to those around us.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Dr. Abraham Cherukara
Carmel MTC, Boston
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church