Thursday, January 20, 2005

Glomerulonephritis and Such

When our son was three years old, he began having some disturbing symptoms. We took him to the pediatrician who quickly referred us to a nephrologist, that is, a kidney doctor. Some tests were done. Then the doctor called us into his office to discuss the results.

It was not good. He suspected a possibly fatal disease. And as he talked, I was struggling, fogged somewhat by emotion, but also in an academic sense, straining to understand. You see, he was droning on about proteinuria, glomerulonephritis, nephropathy and the like. And I was still back on first base, trying to recall from basic health class whether we have one kidney or two! If I had had some more sophisticated schooling, a medical degree, for instance, I’m sure we could have connected. My mind would have been more prepared to absorb what he was saying.

Studying the Bible can be like that. It can sound strange and hard to understand. But Jesus offers us help in the form of the Holy Spirit. Without delving too far into theological issues, I believe the Bible is clear that those who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior also receive the Holy Spirit. Like having an M.D. would have helped me eight years ago, so having the Holy Spirit helps your mind decipher the Bible. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus to us and to reveal truth.

But don’t sweat it if you’re not a Christian and don’t have this divine helper. Many people, famous, infamous and unknown, have come to faith by reading the Bible. And others - such as Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ - came to faith even as they set out to disprove and discredit the Bible. And I eventually did grasp what the doctor was saying. It just took a bit more effort on my part - studying the Merck Manual, talking to relatives with medical backgrounds and asking lots of questions. So don’t give up. Keep reading and ask God for help as you go along.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13