Thursday, July 15, 2010

Searching the Deep Things

I can’t remember how long ago it was but it was certainly before 1993, or even what the problem was, but I went to see the doctor. The things that bothered me then are largely unchanged – it could have been the ears. I didn’t have access to the internet then and the buzzing in my ears might not have been given a name. It wasn’t just the buzzing though. I’d had a couple of intensely dizzy moments and felt constantly travel sick – again, something to do with the ears.

It could actually have been about contraception. I was engaged and about to be married and didn’t want to launch into motherhood right away. I wasn’t a teenager at the time. I hadn’t been a teenager for a couple of decades or more.

I remember the doctor doing something that I had never seen a doctor do before. He pulled out a medical magazine and started leafing through the pages. He scanned the index and then went back to the relevant pages. After a quick browse of the contents of the page, his finger tracing the lines of text, he arrived at a particular prescription for my condition.

I thought these things were already inside a doctor’s head. I thought they already knew what to prescribe and they didn’t look at medical journals.

Does it inspire confidence to see the doctor doing something like that? There must have been a look on my face that suggested the answer was “No”.

He explained.

Medical knowledge is expanding all the time. Research uncovers new secrets every day. New treatments are constantly replacing the old. It’s not a case of the old medicine no longer works, but that better medicines are being developed that are more effective or have less harmful side effects. Of course, he knew what he could prescribe for my condition – but he wanted to find out whether there was anything better on the market.

“The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

I read these words this morning in my time with Jesus. I was reminded of my doctor’s actions so many years ago. The Spirit knows exactly what I need to make the next steps in my walk with God. He knows what revelation will ignite my heart, what promise I can claim to equip me, what rebuke is necessary to convict but not condemn me or what will stir my faith. He searches for those things among the deep things of God, looking not for something that will do – but for the best thing, the most effective thing, sometimes for the thing that will have the least harmful side effects.

Does it inspire confidence in me to know that the Holy Spirit is doing something like that? There is a look on my face that suggests the answer is “You bet it does!”

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