A couple of days ago I was reading an article which referred to Alexander Flemming’s ‘chance’ discovery of Penicillin and it got me thinking. So I did what we tend to do these days when we need a bit of enlightenment, I ‘Googled’ it! Whalaa… Jennifer Rosenberg had written all the information I needed on ‘About.com 20th Century History’. http://history1900s.about.com/od/medicaladvancesissues/a/penicillin.htm
“In 1928, bacteriologist Alexander Fleming made a chance discovery from an already discarded, contaminated Petri dish. The mold that had contaminated the experiment turned out to contain a powerful antibiotic, penicillin. However, though Fleming was credited with the discovery, it was over a decade before someone else turned penicillin into the miracle drug for the 20th century.”
Before antibiotics, diseases such as tuberculosis, scarlet fever, diphtheria, syphilis, and anthrax had no effective treatments and often resulted in death. Today, they are usually curable. The same is true of the many kinds of strep and staph infections that cause afflictions from skin infections to pneumonia. Antibiotics have even tamed leprosy.
Yes, before the advent of antibiotics people were known to die from infections that resulted from something as simple as being pricked by a rose thorn.
Knowing that by their very nature infections are contagious we can begin to imagine just how many people were probably dying from infections, before this ‘chance’ discovery.
I like the last sentence of the quotation above which describes penicillin as the miracle drug of the 20th century. A miracle indeed and as far as I know miracles come from God!
No, I’m not trying to over spiritualise everything, but in all honesty I don’t believe that Alexander’s discovery was as much by ‘chance’ as we are being led to believe.
A simple explanation: In Ecclesiastes 9:11 the bible says “…but time and chance happen to them all.” Yes the creator of the heavens and the earth makes opportunities available to each one of us and Alexander Fleming was in the right place at the right time and took hold of his opportunity with both hands thus securing his place in history.
But was this an ‘accident of fate’? Or was it a divine coincidence of the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (A Pastor of mine tends to use that phrase.) Was a loving Father who could see His people continuously ravaged by ‘minor’ infections sending a miracle cure, just like He did for the Israelites in the wilderness.
In my estimation things don’t just happen, your being late for the 8.40 train that crashed wasn’t just a piece of luck, your losing out on a promotion only to get a much better job a month later wasn’t because you read the horoscope that morning. No! There’s a ‘being’ out there someone much greater than all of us and He is holding everything together by the breath of His nostrils.
That presumably ‘chance’ meeting with your old school mate who introduced you to the love of your life was actually orchestrated by the One who loves you unconditionally.
I strongly and sincerely believe that that ‘chance discovery of penicillin’ was the handiwork of an awesome God providing a cure, life and health to a people He loved so much He sacrificed His Son for them.
He is indeed awesome and I have no qualms at all in entrusting my all to Him 🙂
Like a song writer once said, “I don’t believe in luck, I believe in Jesus”
Hope you’re gearing up for the celebration of the birth of the greatest man who ever walked this earth. Catch you soon, LolaA