A Germ Away from Death

Photo by Time Green aka atoach on Flickr href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/4334084231/"

Photo by Time Green aka atoach on Flickr href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/4334084231/”

“We’re in the post-antibiotic era.” – Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, Associate Director of the CDC (1)

You’re a germ away from death–any breath you take could be the beginning of the end, and there’s nothing you can do about it. We’ve reached the end of an artificial and very short era of unprecedented wellness for mankind. We’re going back to our roots, as it were.

Microorganisms Aren’t a New Threat

We’ve been warned for years that this day of declining benefits from antibiotics would come, and now, according to the CDC, it’s arrived. Let’s step away from the microscope for a minute and think about the larger picture. We live in a world where we live a germ away from death. If not a germ, then an accident, a cancer, an organ failure, a stroke, or a natural disaster.

Before antibiotics were invented and even before we knew for sure that microorganisms existed, God revealed basic sanitation practices to Moses that only “make sense” if you know what bacteria are and how we come into contact with them. I don’t think the Israelites knew about the existence of microorganisms, but by following the practices outlined in the law, they were safer than their neighbors from plague, leprosy, and other infectious diseases.

Bacteria, both the dangerous and the beneficial, have inhabited our world since the beginning. Microorganisms outnumber us like a zillion to one. We shouldn’t be surprised that we couldn’t overcome them permanently. 

There Are Worse Things than Sickness and Death

If it’s true that we are now living in a post-antibiotic era, we’ll probably see a resurgence of diseases we thought were eradicated by “modern medicine,” and possibly, we’ll be threatened by “nightmare bacteria.” As terrible as that is, there are worse things than sickness and death. These are temporal concerns, but our eyes need to be focused on the eternal concerns of spiritual life and death.

Dwelling in Hope

My point is not to dwell on disaster, but to dwell on the hope that is in Christ. Not a hope that’s wishful thinking, but a hope, a conviction, that God’s promises are true. A hope that stands up to ridicule, discrimination, and persecution. A hope that endures through pain and suffering. That hope strengthens martyrs to face death with their eyes open, knowing there’s life beyond this fatally infected world.

My mortal life is not my most precious possession. I want to dwell in the hope of the eternal life promised to those who are in Christ. My last day is racing down on me, and I don’t know if it’s today or tomorrow or thirty years from now. I’m a blade of grass drying in the hot breath of Earth. In a few days, I’ll be a brown husk, and soon after that, I’ll be dust in the wind. Every precious second of life on Earth–with or without antibiotics–I want to dwell in Jesus, my hope, my cure for the infection that leads to eternal death.

Fear Him

Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” Luke 12:4-5

Related posts:

(1) CDC official: we’ve reached “the end of antibiotics” (kottke.org)


One thought on “A Germ Away from Death

  1. Amen. You are right on. Told a kinsman the other day that I was already beyond my “expiration date” , i.e. my three score and ten years — why then should I be surprised that systems are failing at an alarming rate? But the hope of eternal life that is centered in Christ becomes ever more real as each day dawns. Thanks again for your insightful blog. Keep up the good work.

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