“It was larger than I’d anticipated. He’s going to be pleased it’s finally taken care of.”
John’s doctor informed me of the success of his hernia surgery; I had a better picture of his discomfort.
When I saw his incision, I appreciated his words even more.
John’s had the hernia for quite some time. Most days it didn’t bother him. Some days it was a more painful presence, and I’d catch him holding it in as he stood or sat down. Not a life or death situation; just something he put off.
Until he just wanted it done.
Once John was checked into the surgery unit, his doctor and anesthesiologist came to introduce themselves and review the procedure.
Having completed about 9,000 hernia surgeries in his career, the doctor had a light-hearted take on what was to come. He gave us the facts, but none of the doom and gloom that can accompany a surgical procedure. There are always risks when you cut into a person’s body, but his upbeat attitude helped me relax.
The procedure itself took a little longer than I’d anticipated. I kept looking at the clock, wondering what was going on; I imagined the worst.
When the doctor entered the waiting room, his face was still encased in the mask used in the operating theater.
His eyes were smiling.
He was positive; I was grateful. Sure, it wasn’t the removal or replacement of a necessary organ. It was a hernia–a common surgery, like removing someone’s tonsils.
Then there was the reminder of the discomfort to follow.
Once the anesthesia wore off, John felt the pain. He’s been sleeping in his chair because the bed is too uncomfortable. He’s limited with what he can do. This will take time to completely heal.
John could have kept going without surgery. It would have slowed him down, not allowed him to operate with his usual strength or perseverance. Why not just deal with it and be done?
There are those areas in my life that just need to be dealt with. They keep me from operating as the unique person God has created me to be. I’ve got my thorny places–my judgmental attitude, my overwhelming need to fix people because I think I’ve got exactly what they need, my anxiety when I can’t control certain situations.
God’s surgical procedure is gentler; He calls it pruning. He deals with areas in my heart that hurt me and others by allowing me in situations where I have to deal with my junk. Not letting me be satisfied with just okay when I could be operating out of my best.
We all have rough areas in our lives that keep us from leaning into God, whether it be pride, unbelief, arrogance or any one of a number of things that set us up as our own little gods.
Allowing God to cut away the dead or diseased wood in our lives gives us the freedom to grow into the people He knows we can be. The people we want to be. The process may be uncomfortable, but the results are worth it.
In a couple of weeks.