“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep…that have taken hold.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Have you ever wanted to go back in time and erase those hurts that have dug down SO deep into your heart and soul that they’ve taken hold? Have you ever just wanted to put right what once went wrong?
The television program Quantum Leap began the following way:
“Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Doctor Sam Beckett led an elite group of scientists into the desert to develop a top-secret project, known as QUANTUM LEAP. Pressured to prove his theories or lose funding, Doctor Beckett, prematurely stepped into the Project Accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not his own. Fortunately, contact with his own time was made through brainwave transmissions, with Al, the Project Observer, who appeared in the form of a hologram that only Doctor Beckett could see and hear. Trapped in the past, Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, putting things right, that once went wrong and hoping each time, that his next leap will be the leap home.”
Haven’t we all…at some point in our life, wished, hoped, prayed that a Sam Beckett would enter a point in our life and put things right, that once went wrong? Maybe it isn’t some elite scientist from the future. Perhaps we just hope that the Divine Deity who we love and worship could intervene and remove the hurts that currently plague our hearts…or remove those mistakes that we’ve made that eventually led to the present pain in our life. Why can’t God fix our past and provide us with the segue from that mistake to the present? Why can’t God grant us the aptitude to pick up the pieces of our life that we ourselves turned to crap and then return to our former way of life…back when things weren’t so crappy?
God can! …and He Does! …just not in the way we expect Him to do it.
C.S. Lewis put it best in The Problem of Pain when he wrote:
“[Hurt] removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.”
Quite often…not always…but often, our so-called crappy life is a result of each of us individually taking a crap all over it. We ourselves made the mistakes. Our own rebellious souls led to the dismantling of our own life.
As I began reading Exodus 19, I latched onto verse 5:
“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.”
Ahhh…the famous covenantal clause—key word: “IF.”
“IF you obey me fully.”
What a great promise. Too bad it was impossible for Israel to keep their end of the bargain. Even today, it’s impossible for us to keep it as well.
We know…Israel knew…God knew, and still knows…full obedience is not going to happen. Israel perpetually disobeyed, made a mess of things, God punished them, forgave them, and gave them another chance, only for them to blow it again. Sound familiar?
So God Beckett, had to intervene. God Beckett had to put right the things that went wrong. Even though God actually could go back in time and fix every error every human being makes in order to set things right…God knows the human condition. God knows the minute He turns around, we’ll just put it all wrong again.
Here’s the dilemma:
“I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity IN ORDER TO SET IT RIGHT once and for all.”
—Romans 7:24—8:3 (The Message).
Isn’t that AWESOME?!?!
Jesus really is Sam Beckett. By sending Jesus to die for the wrongs and then rise again to put it right…God did put right what once when wrong.
So is Al the Holy Spirit? Hmmm?