Came home from work early yesterday afternoon, tried to pick up on some loose ends here and there and ended up in my study in front of the computer, feeling just a little restless and out of sorts. At that very moment my son, Johan, was undergoing a fairly complicated knee operation, similar to, but a much more modern and sophisticated version of a procedure that was done to my own right knee, some 26 years ago. Mine was a rugby injury, his the end result of a series of injuries while doing the things that he enjoys most.
“It has to be done”, the orthopaedic specialist said, “or else …”. Who knows what else. Having heard almost exactly the same words prior to my own operation way back, and since then concluded that the “or else” has happened anyway, I have become somewhat of a sceptic when it comes to the optimism of human beings of being able to fix things. Not only medical ailments or sports injuries, but many other conditions and day to day problems.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not a pessimist and I am extremely positive about the prospects of my son’s complete recovery. I care for him very much and would not have consented to the request for an operation if I doubted a successful outcome. It is just that I have this nagging feeling that fixing things is not as simple and clear-cut as many tend to think. People make a living by fixing all kinds of things. Houses, computers, motor-cars, appliances – even marriages and people’s emotions and moods.
It’s nice to hear a success story related to things and conditions and problems being fixed. But these are not too frequent and sometimes hard to find. As a matter of fact, in many areas of life nowadays it is not irregular to hear technicians or mechanics or counsellors or other experts declaring or certifying something, or even someone, as being “beyond repair”. In our highly sophisticated and technically and digitally advanced society, replacing has become a far more popular option than repairing or fixing.
Having said this, isn’t it something special to know that our heavenly Father, Yahweh, is not only superbly capable of fixing, changing, healing and restoring, but that He is also in the business of creating? “Creatio ex nihilo”, the old Latin fathers used to say – creating something out of nothing – that is what Yahweh is perfectly capable of doing. I’d rather have Him fixing my things and my loved ones and myself, than trying to do so using my own far from perfect resources. And when I do need to consult a doctor or see a dentist or go for counselling, I prefer to look at these earth-bound “fixers” as mere instruments in the hands of One whose healing and life-changing abilities are absolutely without limitations.