These past two years, I have been a participant in my daughter’s science projects. Generations of students from middle school through high school have partaken in this annual event. As the students prepared their protocols and outlines for their projects, one question, that each student needed to answer, has always given me pause, “How does your project benefit society?”
I don’t think we had such lofty goals in mind as we selected our project! As I perused some of the other students’ projects, I continue to be astounded by the sophistication of the projects and the accompanying analysis. Indeed, I can definitely see the merit and benefit to society with some of their projects. Admittedly, we were sometimes seeking a project that was simple and reasonably interesting. Benefits to society? Yes, I suppose one can make a compelling case for the societal benefits of determining which packaging will best retard the browning of bananas or what music is played at fast food restaurants. But is it on the same scale as a device that can detect blood borne parasites?
The dilemma lies in how we define societal needs and benefits. We are daily faced with choices as to how to best utilize our time, talents, and money to help others. And there are no right or wrong choices. One person’s needs may seem insignificant to another but to that person, the need is very real and distressing.
When Jesus Christ walked this earth, thousands crowded around Him, in earnest expectation to be healed. The Bible records many instances of healing, but certainly not all instances. Was Jesus able to heal everyone and attend to everyone’s needs?
And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
Jesus was fully God; He was also fully man and limited by some of the same physical and temporal constraints that we all face. Perhaps there were times when He had to chose whom He would heal. Thankfully, the choices that He made were not biased by the kinds of prejudices or preconceptions to which I fall victim. Jesus’ choices were sovereign and perfect, directed only by God the Father, and independent of all other opinions. Although He may not have physically healed every person that came to Him, we do know that Jesus was concerned with spiritually healing each person in attendance. His healing was always accompanied with preaching of the Good News of God’s salvation. He gave His message of love and salvation to all who would be willing to listen.
Our needs are objective but the importance and significance may be subjectively interpreted by others. Thanks be to God who knows all of our true needs and invites us to come to Him with these burdens.
Trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Every one of our needs is important to Him and He will always take the time to comfort us.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.