Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Worldwide Epidemic -- Do You Qualify for the Vaccine

There is a terminal illness that is spreading. It knows no boundaries and affects every race and creed and gender. It is not discriminate of age. There is a cure for this deadly affliction, but up until now, only one race of the populace of earth can take the necessary, life-saving medicine. You are part of that race. A location has been set for you and your family to go and receive this vaccine, and while you are elated, you have to drive by people who are just as sick as you. There are families with small children. There are single moms. There are elderly. They all need this life-saving vaccine that you are about to receive. You know without the vaccine you will die. You feel incredible guilt, gratitude, relief. You go into the clinic for the sick where you see others like you. Some are sicker than others, but all have the same fate. You get your vaccine and begin living your life again knowing you are safe. The doctor who gave you the vaccine and yourself become friends. He begins by telling you not to eat some of the infected food as well as giving you some other rules to follow. The death sentence has been lifted. Everyone who receives this vaccine has access to this one specific physician. He wants to monitor how you are doing. In the course of his monitoring, your friendship deepens, but at some point you begin to resent him butting into your personal business. Your race begins to feel entitled as this epidemic continues. As a matter of fact, there are places that only your race can go because you are not infected. Your neighbors may be infected. Your coworkers may be infected. Your friends may be infected. Their worries and their problems mount and escalate. People in your race just make more rules and laws on how to deal with those outside your race.

Now, let’s look at that same scenario but from a different angle. There is a deadly epidemic, and there is a vaccine, but the vaccine is only going to be given to one race. That race isn’t your race. You and your family watch car after car drive into the clinic knowing they are going into see a doctor to receive a life-saving vaccine. You have a child. You’d be happy if you could just get your child the vaccine, but you can’t. You try to go on with your life, but there is heaviness, a darkness ever present. You go on with your life watching the chosen race get privileges and special treatment because they aren’t infected. Some of your friends don’t even realize they are infected, but you know because you have friends and coworkers that are in the chosen race. The chosen doctor is seen around town, and the afflicted flock to him begging him for the vaccine. Have you ever begged for anything in your life before? You are begging for the life and health of your spouse, of your parents, of your children. It’s not fair. It’s not fair at all. Thoughts begin to form in your mind against those who have received the vaccine, and you are not alone. After all, if that race wasn’t around, maybe you wouldn’t feel as bad.

Then there’s a news bulletin that comes out. A nurse from the chosen doctor’s office makes a formal statement. The vaccine has been changed. We’ve added a compound that makes the vaccine available to all races. They tested the vaccine and found it to be pure without bad side effects, and it is available to any who will come and ask the doctor for it.

The chosen race on one hand is excited because their coworkers and friends can now receive the life-saving vaccine, but they are also very skeptical because they had been told it was only for them. The nurse meets with them to explain how the old vaccine required certain standards and certain requirements in order for it to be effective, but this new vaccine was designed so that no one would perish. What’s so amazing is there is no shortage of this vaccine. The news travels quickly as you can imagine. People are receiving this life saving cure without personal cost. You see, the chosen doctor had been so burdened for those who were dying that he gave everything he had in this new vaccine to save those who were dying. Can you imagine the gratitude on the faces of those who find out that they are able to be saved? Can you imagine the relief and the joy? Can you feel the burdens being lifted off of you knowing that all of those you love can get this vaccine? Tears flow down your face as you stand in line to meet the doctor, to ask him for the vaccine and to receive it at no cost. There isn’t anything you could possibly have or give that could begin paying this debt. You meet the doctor, and he is the most gracious person you have ever met. How can you not just love him?! As you leave, he tells you to be sure to tell your friends, coworkers, family and neighbors about what has happened. Please bring them in. I’d love to save them as well. That’s what he says as you reluctantly turn to leave.

As you know if you’ve been reading my prior blogs, God has been leading me through the book of Acts. Peter receives a vision from God who tells him that salvation isn’t just for the Jews. God tells Peter that all can be made clean and holy. God tells Peter that everyone can repent and be saved. In the scenario I presented the first time you were the Jew in the Acts 10 and 11. In the second, you are a Gentile. What have you done with the news about the life-saving treatment your friends and family can receive from the Great Physician? Have you lost that sense of gratitude for your salvation or are you telling everyone you know?

Just something to think about.

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