Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The benefits of spiritual surgery

Today's Oswald Chamber's Devo said: "The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to be hurt or offended. Jesus Christ had no tenderness whatsoever toward anything that was ultimately going to ruin a person in his service to God. Our Lord’s answers were not based on some whim or impulsive thought, but on the knowledge of "what was in man." If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you can be sure that there is something in you that He wants to hurt to the point of its death." I can definitely relate to this. God is like a surgeon who does what needs to be done in your life, no matter how much it hurts and even if there is no anesthesia available at the time, he'll go ahead and do what's good for you. remember back when I had my miscarriage and it was a painful mess, not only emotionally but physically. It was clear that enough had happened that I had, indeed, miscarried. However, everything in it's entirety had not come out that needed to, and so they had to do an emergency D and C,with no time to put me out or even give me a sedative. So, I was awake the whole time. 

Although it was a long time ago now I can still remember that severe pain like it was yesterday. I remember Larry standing in the emergency room helplessly by, while I gripped the sides of the hospital bed with all my strength, enduring what was the worst pain of my life. The doctor couldn't worry about the fact that I was crying out in pain, that my knuckles were white from clinging ever so tightly to the bed, that every time he paused for a moment I writhed in pain back and forth. All he cared about was getting the procedure successfully completed so that I would ultimately be safe and healthy.

Perhaps the worst feeling was the intense "hollow" feeling that I felt in my soul when we prepared to leave the hospital. We left...just Larry and I...his arm around me, my face turned into his chest, feeling the cold night air on my head as we left the hospital. All I could think of is, "...all this pain...and what did I get for it? Nothing. I'm walking out of here with no baby...just me...Larry...and our empty arms. Our child was due on July 16. It's hard to believe if they would have lived, we would already have an adult child who would be graduated from high school. It's true that no matter how much time goes by, there is always a very special place in your heart for the child, and a tenderness when it comes to the loss in your life. With Jesus and time it gets much better, and even heals but never does one feel cavalier about it or like it's really not a big deal. You always realize the magnitude of it.

So yes, I know what it's like to have "surgery" without anesthesia, with seemingly no reward here on earth for going through all that hell. (I know we'll hold our child in heaven.) On the other hand, when I go through spiritual surgery, sometimes also without any pain killer, there is always a reward on some level. Because unlike a miscarriage, enduring a spiritual procedure always brings growth and progress in one's life.

Like Chambers points out, I too see that God will do whatever He has to do to bring you to the point of working out His will and way in your life. He's not so concerned about our comfort, our convenience, or even that we be pain free. It's about being what He wants, and doing what He wants, plain and simple. To Him, the end justifies His means.

I am willing to go through the pain of growing spiritually. I want the bad habits to die. The wrong attitudes to be gone. The attributes He wants me to have made manifest in my life. The pain is so hard sometimes, but the benefit so worth it. The road to the next level is...always uphill. But I'm willing to do it.

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