Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Could - a horrible word

John 11:37 - "Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?"

In general, I find that the word "could" is one of the least useful in the English language. We use it just to denote the chance of possibility (could the rain wash out the picnic?), or as a trite way to ask someone something without sounding like you are actually making a demand (could you do this?), or, as in John 11, to state something that didn't happen - a contrary to fact statement. A happened, but couldn't have B happened just as easily.

"Could" is a word that doesn't like reality - that shies away from what really happens. It is a word that shows fear (what could the terrorists do next!), that manipulates, and that complains.

We don't deal with what God "could" do. God could do lots of things. God could have seen to it that I had 5 billion dollars, and God could have seen to it that I was never born. As Christians, we don't deal with what God could do - we deal with what God has done - specifically, that Christ Jesus has become Man and has gone to the Cross and has risen again and that He will come again. The Christian life is lived not in a world of posibilities, but delighting in what God has done and what He has promised to do in the future.

Possiblities come and go - let the philosphers ponder them and contemplate parallel universes and the many worlds of "what-if" - we look to what God has done, even in the face of trial, and we look to the promises of what God has said He will do. This is the Christian approach.

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