What have Jesus and a trapeze artist got in common? As it turns out – plenty!
The idea for writing this post came to me while reading a story about the late Henri Nouwen (1932-1996). Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian.
In the last year of his life, Nouwen took a sabbatical during which he got to know trapeze artists at a circus. As we know, in the trapeze world, the “flyer” flies through the air and is caught by the “catcher”. Nouwen learnt that the catcher is the most important member of the team.
When the flyer lets go the trapeze and flies triple somersaulting through the air high above the circus ring, only the catcher can save the flyer from a potentially fatal fall, even with a net. The flyer’s world is a blur as she spins towards the swinging catcher. And then with a puff of magnesium dry powder the catcher’s hands lock onto the wrists of the flyer. The audience gasps with relief. All is well. The flyer is safe. Immediately the applause of the audience thunders around the circus tent.
So, why is Jesus a trapeze artist? What role does He play? Consider this:
One day all of us will pass away. This is one of life’s absolute certainties. What will happen to us then? Will we just cease to exist? Will we perish? Will we spin away into the eternal void of nothingness. Questions. Questions. Questions.
Jesus has an answer for each one of us. Listen to what He has to say:
“One day you will be the flyer. You will fly out of existence as you now know it. But, you need not fly into oblivion. You need not perish, If you believe and trust in me I promise to be your catcher. I will catch you as you fly. You will not perish but have everlasting life. I promise to catch you. Nothing can snatch you out of my hands. You will be safe and dwell with me forever. This I promise.“
To God be the glory.
Refs: John 3:16; John 14:2; John 10:28: Psalm 23.
For the story of how Nouen met the trapeze artists see “Faith and Doubt” by John Ortberg – page 36 on Kindle (Zondervan)
I honestly believe that reading the two articles below will strengthen the faith of any Christian.
Especially now during the (lets be honest) frightening pandemic.
Remember the saying “it’s where the rubber hits the road”?
The author of the articles, Dr Kathryn Butler, cannot be closer to the “road”. She is a trauma and critical care surgeon turned writer and home schooling mom. Currently she is out of retirement and serving in the ICU of an American Hospital caring for COVID19 patients. She lives north of Boston.
I suggest you read the first article first and then the second article.
The first article is: “If God Doesn’t Heal You” Click
The second article is: “Even in the ICU – Why hope will conquer death” Click
If you find the two articles helpful, please tell others about them.
The Corona virus (COVID-19) clearly falls within this definition.
Surely therefore it is reasonable to interpret the last part of Psalm 91:3 to read follows;-
Surely God will “deliver thee” from the Corona virus (COVID-19).
Is God doing that at the moment ( April 2020)?
Many, many people in the world are infected with the virus and will become infected. Many people have died and will die.
Many of these people will be committed Christians.
This may cause many people to sadly conclude that God is not delivering on His promise of protection against pestilence in Psalm 91:3.
Are they right?
It goes without saying that this is an extremely serious question which calls for prayerful consideration. .
My genuine humble opinion is that it is incorrect to conclude that God is not delivering on His promise of protection against pestilence in Psalm 91:3.
It may be useful to note upfront that verse 3 does not say God is delivering us, it states that God will deliver us. That is why it is not right or logical to use verse 3 to conclude that God is not delivering right now on His promise of protection against pestilence in Psalm 91:3. The word “will” tells us it is a promise about the future. More about this below.
First, Scripture does not teach that the Lord always grants divine blanket protection for all believers in all circumstances (see website at end of post). Two thousand years of martyrs dying painful deaths confirms this. Remember: In the 23rd Psalm God promises to be with us as we “walk through the valley of the shadow of death. God does not promise to lead us round the valley.
Second, and here we come to Psalm 91:3. Lets look at it carefully:
Consider again the word “will
“Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.“
“will” refers to the future. So the verse is saying: Even if you get the virus and no matter what the virus may do to you, your eternal security remains secure. Ultimately God will save you from the “deadly pestilence”. Remember: The Psalms often “look forward to eternity”.
Note that the verse does not say when God will save us from “deadly pestilence”. It could be now, some other time during our lifetime or even beyond.
Remember: In this life God grants us not security from all human ills, but security in (Christ).
Hear what Jesus said about the eternal security He has given to us:
John 6:37-40 KJV
37 “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
This is why Paul wrote in Romans 8:35,37,38 and 39 as follows (COVID-19 added!):
Romans 8:35.37,38 and 39 KJV
“35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, not even Covid-19, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
There is no doubt that God will save us from COVID-19. We know not when or where. However we do know that final victory is certain and secure. We have Christ’s own word for it. In His farewell teaching to His apostles He said:
John 16:33 King James Version (KJV)
33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.
Praise the Lord
May the contents of this post, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer.
An article on the UK Apologetics Website helped me with this post. \Some phrases and ideas on the website have been used in this post. I recommend that you go to the website. Click here.
Here is the link to an excellent article about God and the pandemic, written by a Jesuit Priest. It is well written, well reasoned and clear. Above all it is honest. Click here. I came across the article after I had written the above post.