The Medicine of certainty

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible…

A patient who has been diagnosed with cancer will go through what is likely many days and weeks and months (perhaps years) of uncertainty. Such uncertainty drives emotions into a heightened and feathered frenzy. It can produce depths of fear mingled with expectancy and the desire to “just be well.” All a patient can often think of is what life would be like if they were well again.

Imagine the patient who has spent months in an Oncology unit the morning of his last treatment. The morning is covered in a newfound sense of rest. According to the Medic, the emperor of all maladies, for this patient, is nearly defeated. The cancer will be over. Recovery dwells in sight.

It is not that the patient has gained any control over the situation that gives them any comfort. What calm has found him the morning of his last treatment can be traced to the human need for certainty. Here is found within the Medic the power to relieve him of that overpowering sense of fear. His diagnoses has shifted, and this sense now comes to him that is rarer and truer and sweeter than ever. It’s the sense of “i’m almost through with this.” More so, this sense of “i made it.”

This precious relief exists within the realm of truth. It is not the substance of blind faith. This patient fighting cancer is a metaphor for the child of unbelief, for however long they may wrestle with this strong sense of unbelief,  there will be the morning when they may wake up to find their unbelief forever cut out from their  heart. The ancient Malady (despite how vicious it was) pales in light of an ancient declaration concerning an immortal God. The words of the Christian Creed are not rooted in fanaticism or self-exalted ecstasies. They are not made up to make anybody feel better about their stupid existence. They are the words of the Medic.

Surety (even when answers aren’t appropriate) can curb the pain one endures in the midst of life’s fragility, opening a window to the everlasting calm of the One who has always been. It is a song dancing around past and present and future, a drink especially sweet to any creature aware of their weakness.

My friends daughter was sick last week and so one night as Coco couldn’t sleep, my friend Patty had a tea party with her in he middle of the night! Coco’s nose was running, and her eyes filled up with wonder. She was caught up in a cloud of delight due to the fact that her mom was having a tea party with her in the middle of the night.

Coco looked at her mom in this moment of trust and enjoyment and said in a raspy voice, “Mom?”

“Yes, Coco?”

“Mom, why was I made?” Coco’s mom smiled at her and put her teacup down. “Well, you were made, Colette.. you were made for God. God made you to live in this world so you could enjoy Him.”

Coco stared into her mother’s face unnervingly. “Then why am I sick, Mom?”

Coco’s mom, as you can imagine,  had no idea how to answer this one. She was stunned by her 4 year old’s earnest thoughts.  There are some questions you don’t necessarily give an answer for.

It helps to know that you don’t have to have an answer for legitimate questions.  What I find true about creeds (maybe this is the nature of a creed) is that it doesn’t necessarily provide me with the answer that I want.

A creed isn’t a manufactured cookie cutter answer for all human dilemmas. The declaration doesn’t always console you in the way you want to be consoled. But I’ve found there is something held in this declaration that transcends my need for immediate answers.

There is peace in possessing knowledge about the One who has always existed. It is both concrete and yet brimming over with mystery. I find measures of mystery in certainty that fuels me as a person to live and to breathe.

Even if I feel that I cannot obey God, or by any means of my own believe in Him, I still desire the certainty that all created beings hope for. It only humbles me, and humility is kin to curiosity. For in this certainty I find an ever remarkable wonder by which I may search myriads of untold mysteries.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; by whom all things were made;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead. ;
whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Ghost. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.
In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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