The “Surgeon”

scalpelWe’ve all heard the analogy of God as the Great Physician. Let’s take a little different route and explore the analogy of The Holy Spirit being a surgeon.

When we need surgery on our physical bodies, the Doctor prepares us by telling us the problem, the procedure, the possible complications and the expected outcome he’s hoping for. We then place our trust in him to perform the procedure.

Then with our modern day technology we are anesthetized and when we wake up, the surgery is over. Pain can be lessened with pain-killers and so we begin to heal. However, no matter how skillful the surgeon is we have unsightly scars that last a lifetime. Many times the outcome is not what the doctors or you had hoped for…or planned on.

Spiritually speaking, when the Holy Spirit knows we need surgery, He too tells us the problem. Sometimes through prayer and Bible study; sometimes by other people’s witness. There are many avenues He uses.

If we truly desire His best for us, we agree to “surgery”. Often the procedure is long and painful. Unlike physical surgery, we are “awake” through all of it! Oh yes, He is gracious, gentle and loving, giving us peace and comfort, but we feel His spiritual scalpel intensely.

We often cry out in the middle of it “STOP”! I can’t take this, it’s too much to bear, and being the merciful God that He is, He does our bidding, leaving us with open wounds and diseased spirits that will need more surgery later on.

BUT, if we let His skilled hand finish the work and close the wound, the healing can begin. The Holy Spirit is never unsure of the outcome. He KNOWS what we will become once we have healed. Something even more wonderful is that the scars from Spiritual surgery will always leave you more beautiful than before. There is no disfiguring, no never!

THANK YOU GOD FOR THE SCARS!

Thank You God for Breast Cancer

I will never forget the night before my first mastectomy. I was early October and the house was very quiet. As I sat in my favorite “God spot” – I was praying and contemplating what was about to happen. I think most everyone thinks they will go to the grave with all their body parts intact. It simply had never occurred that might not be the case for me. I began to quietly sob. What happened next is something I have a hard time explaining. As I quietly cried I felt arms wrap around me and heard the words, “You don’t have to cry, because I am right here beside you – but, you can cry it you want to”. I know it was God’s arms and His words saying He understood the “want to” of crying because of what I was going through humanly, but that I didn’t have to cry out of fear and discouragement. Of course, then I cried like a baby…a child of God who knew, like never before, that I was being taken care of.

You might ask why I didn’t pray for a miraculous healing. I did, during the weeks between diagnosis and surgery. I knew my Lord was completely capable of healing me and prayed to that end. However, I didn’t get a miraculous healing and I am thankful I didn’t. Do you think that an odd response? Possibly, but I know now that if I had experienced a miracle I would praise God for that experience always pointing to that time and place as where God met me. Without a miraculous healing I learned to see God in each step of my cancer journey and praised Him for every moment of every day He sustained me. I believe my faith grew unlike it would have had God instantaneously healed me.

I was healed enough by early November to begin grappling with doing chemotherapy. How could I knowingly “poison” my temple? Together, my husband and I decided to go forward with what the doctors were recommending, praying that we would know if and/or when the Lord told us to stop.

Following the second treatment, and just four days prior to Christmas, I began running a 105° fever. I was admitted to the critical care unit. Everyone knew I was infected with something, they just didn’t know what. As I lay in my hospital bed that first night, I felt completely helpless knowing I was too weak to even get myself out of bed and that I was at the mercy of the staff. Those of you who know me know what a “doer” I am. There was nothing I could “do”, making this the most difficult place to find myself. My feeble prayer was simply “please God protect me”.

Early the next morning the doctor told me that, although they still weren’t certain what I was infected with, they were certain I was allergic to chemotherapy. My spinal cord was shutting down. All my blood results were at critical stage putting me on the verge of death. At that moment I knew God had screamed “stop!” I could not and would not ever do chemotherapy again.

The following day the answer to what I was infected with came. Staph! Then it struck me – this infection named “staph” had saved my life. Had I not begun running a fever, indicative of the infection, I would have died quietly at home never knowing the death grip chemotherapy had on me. God saved my life with staph! Not something very many people can say…but, our God uses some pretty unconventional tactics, doesn’t He?

On Christmas morning I was released and able to spend the celebration of Jesus’ birth with my family. The story doesn’t end there, though. On New Year’s Eve day I was back in the hospital with an abscess. The infection was surgically removed and the wound left open to heal. As I belly-ached to a wonderful nurse friend, asking why God didn’t just clear up the staph with the intravenous drugs instead of needing surgery – she quietly explained that my route was the most effective way of getting completely rid of staph. Once again it was clear God was in complete control and I was the recipient of His blessings.

…and so, I began to heal.

“Thank you God for breast cancer”. Without it my faith would not be as strong; my life not as rich; and I would not have a passion to help someone everyday be ALL God made them to be. Anyone who says Christian’s use Jesus as their crutch doesn’t get that we, as followers of Jesus, are the only ones walking straight and tall while all the rest of the world walks with a limp. My faith is not a crutch – it was, and is, my source of strength, hope and daily joy through life’s valleys of the shadow of death.

I have much more story to tell, because it was eighteen years ago this month that I began sojourning cancer. I will share from time to time in posts, so check back often.