I sat in the surgical waiting area of a hospital on Tuesday the 8th of May. I was there to support a very dear friend who was going through back surgery. The long hours turned into people watching of the deepest kind. I watched as the surgical nurse would come for her patient, call out the name and ask the inevitable question "are you ready?" to which almost every patient would answer "i guess so". I walked out and about the room picking up pieces of conversations and watching nervous family members and friends crumble at the words of a doctor who would try to reassure the person in waiting they did their very best and a full recovery was expected...or hoped for.
I started thinking about how so many of us are patients in the hospital of life, we move about unsuspecting of the time when our name is called up. A whisper is spoken across our world and suddenly we are being prepped for surgery. Our once perceived whole bodies are readied and laid out in preparation for the Doctors handiwork. What once was an unblemished canvas of skin (or life) is now cut into and bleeding. We tremble at the sight of the suffering blood and without knowing we are there to be healed, we cry out in pain because the cut is not restoration to us, only damage. Silently the Doctor works His way into our Spiritual bodies, cutting deeper to remove the cancer of sin or to mend the cause of our pain. Only as we begin to recover do we see the handiwork of the Doctor. We slowly begin to feel the added strength of restoration our Spirit has (unbeknownst to us) been longing for. Suddenly, we are out of the hospital, mended from the brokenness, or the sin, or the deep rooted transgression that was silently killing us...and we gently touch the emotional scar where the Doctor cut so deep and thankfully bow to the sweet grace of a saved life.
For my friend, her call for healing had been sweeping across the clouds of heaven for a time. Isaiah 65:24 says this: Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. The Doctor had listened, and without us knowing had planned healing for her beyond our comprehension or understanding and at 33, her restoration would be evident in death.
You see if we consistently cry out for healing and redemption, we should not be so surprised when the whisper is spoken and the Doctor without asking removes the pain from which our bones have been so burdened. So often we lament to our Savior without faith that He hears us. All the while the Doctor, the Creator of Healing Himself is waiting in the wings, listening to our every pained cry. We say we have faith, we believe in the One true God, but we never expect Him to really heal us. We might unrealistically dream to be given a magic pill that takes the burden away, but the idea we may have to be cut and bleed for the change to take place never occurs to us. The thought we might hurt in the process of changing is not an option. The possibility we don't even know we are sick before we end up on the Doctors table has never crossed our minds. I'm confident we may never fully understand His way of healing us. We may cry out in prayer, never expecting to be heard, but this I can assure you of: He hears us and before we call, He is ready to answer.
Psalm 10:17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry
Psalm 34:5-7 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
I am not one to boast the Doctor has never cut deep into my flesh. I have scars I will cherish forever, some small, some so large they will never or should ever be disguised. I was not anticipating the decision of my Father to take my friend home, but I rest peacefully in His judgment, His wisdom, His skillful touch and His sovereignty. Even in this loss I can feel the scalpel cutting deep into my flesh, digging for whatever He sees needs out of me. So I will praise Him as He works, cling to Him when the pain is too much, and rest in His arms as I heal from His cuts all the while knowing the scar it leaves behind is the change I need.