I was stationed at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center when a doctor walked into my lab. He was treating a young boy with leukemia who needed platelets, but there was only one compatible donor. The donor couldn’t give blood often enough, and the boy couldn’t take a unit of blood often enough. So we sat down and decided to spin a unit of blood in the centrifuge, take off the serum, then take off the thin layer of platelets between the serum and the red blood cells, put the serum back into the red blood cells, give the donor back his unit of blood, and give the patient his platelets and it’s called platelet plasmaphoresis. The world is filled with new and wonderful things, as if God planted them like seeds for us to discover!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19 -NIV)
Mary Ella and I celebrated our birthday (we were both born on March 1) in Charleston. We are going back for our anniversary (we also have the same anniversary) and every time we go, we walk. I have a walking app on my iPad with 11 walking tours in and around Charleston’s historic district. We walked by a sign reading, “God still speaks.”
I believe that, but sometimes people who say it means “God still speaks and he’s changed his mind about sin.” What was sin is not now sin? There is a problem.
We believe God is the ultimate everything in our universe; all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere present. If God says it; it’s a fact like gravity or math. But if he changes his mind, he’s no longer God. It would be impossible for God to change his mind, because it’s impossible for God to be wrong.
God does still speak and he’s constantly doing new things, but he never contradicts what he’s already spoken nor what he’s already done. In fact, I started writing this column because I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and because I enjoy discovering the new things God has planted for us to discover!
Charles “Buddy” Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland-Bold Springs UMC, a marketplace chaplain, and with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.