For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
I am afraid of surgery.
I am not an amateur either! I have been under the surgical knife four times in my life!
Once for a broken growth plate in my leg. Once for a broken arm. Once for my wisdom teeth (that counts as surgery, right?). And most recently, once for an appendix that went rogue on me.
Okay, so maybe I am an amateur.
I am an amateur surgee who does not remember much of anything about his first three surgeries; two because I was much younger and the other because I was unconscious… I think…
But I will never forget the thought I had as I was being wheeled back into the operating room, just before my sedatives kicked in, as I was writhing in pain from my appendix…
“I could die in that room.”
Now, mind you, this was a minor surgery for a grumpy ol’ appendix that the hospital staff had done thousands of times before without any life-ending accidents, but I have been around just long enough to see plenty of online news articles titled, “Minor Surgery Gone Wrong, Man Killed.”
The thought of my potential death was at the forefront of my mind and I remember sobbing almost uncontrollably on my twin-sized bed with my feet hanging off the edge. And no, my sedatives had not kicked in yet, I was just crying under normal influence. Thank you for asking, though!
So in I go. Under the surgical knife.
I am not sure if this is obvious or not, so I will reveal to you the results:
“Minor Surgery Went Well, Man Alive”, would be the title for the online news article!
They took my appendix out, sewed my stomach back together, and in three or four days, I was back to my normal life.
But the truth is… I am still afraid of surgery.
The thought of wrongness being part of me, the thought of the severity of that wrongness being so that I can only be rid of it through surgical means, the thought of a surgeon who holds my life in his hands and who can so very easily make any number of mistakes…
I am afraid of surgery.
The bad news for me, is that wrongness is part of who I am currently. Wrongness is not only what I do sometimes, it is what I think about, and it is even sometimes what I long for; what I want. My heart has a crooked bent to it that leads me to wrongness and my wrongness has a crooked bent in it that leads me to death.
I need surgery. I have tried to act better, look better, be better, but nothing I do seems to work. My heart is only worsened by my actions to try and make it better. I need surgery, but I am afraid of surgery.
There is good news, though…
My Surgeon is not one of mistakes. He holds my life in His hands and has a resume of perfection behind Him, 4.0 in med-school, has a track record that simply reads, “I AM.”
My Surgeon works by a peculiar means, though. I need no anesthesia, He needs no scalpel.
All my Surgeon needs is His Word.
His word is actively discerning my thoughts and intentions, showing my wrongness, surgically cutting in to rid me of it, guiding me in the way I should go… Sure, it hurts to get rid of things I deemed worthy of my life, but my Surgeon leads me to what actually gives it.
I will probably always be afraid of the act of surgery, with all of the pain that may come, but I rest joyfully knowing I am in the hands of an Almighty Surgeon.
– Jacob Simmons, Family Pastor
*This was written as a meditative thought from Sunday’s sermon from Eric Creekmore on Hebrews 4:6-13. You can listen to the sermon here.