God wounds (a 40-day devotional series)

(In 2017, I wrote this series for the 40 days prior to Easter to prepare our hearts and minds for the significance of Jesus’ resurrection.  I’m reposting the series now for the 40 days after Easter to encourage us to follow through, living in the risen Savior and King.)

wpid-devotionals.jpegGod is not a bully.  But He is the Great Physician, and all great physicians often must wound their patients. (Luke 5:31-32)

In fact, just before I wrote this article three years ago, surgeons were wounding me.  My good wife was posting several devotionals I had written in anticipation of my initial recovery time.  I wasn’t sure that I would be able to write coherently, since the doctors had warned me that this type of surgery (a component separation for large abdominal hernias) is typically a painful and slow recovery.

I was looking forward to see what the Lord Jesus would do with that – and not.  Few of us eagerly volunteer for painful processes.  Ironically, though, pain is almost always part of healing – even when we feel fine at the moment.

The previous year when a doctor was performing additional tests to see if my rectal cancer had spread to my abdominal area, he found that I had two life-threatening aneurysms at the bisection of my external and internal iliac arteries.  Yet, I felt fine.  There was no typical cold or numbness in any of my extremities, and there was no pain.  If they had not operated, however, I might not be here today.

And the healing required wounding.

When I heard that I had a serious problem, my heart hurt. When I told my family how serious it was and that I may have a connective tissue disorder that could lead to future incidents, all of us hurt.  Even though I was completely out during the surgery, after I regained consciousness I hurt – a lot.   Every time they gently touched the 14 inch incision to check for whatever they were checking for, I hurt.  About a week later when I went home and would try to sit up a little bit, I hurt.  Much later when I began to walk around a bit, I hurt.

You get the idea.  Most of the process was painful, and I could have avoided it all by saying “no thanks” to the surgeons.  But that wouldn’t have been the wisest thing.

God’s Word often talks about Him wounding His people. (Deuteronomy 32:39, Job 5:17-18, Proverbs 27:6, Hosea 6:1, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, etc.)  That’s what good surgeons do.  In fact, when many people go looking for a second opinion about their physical health, they’re not looking for someone to ignore the truth.  They’re looking for someone to clarify or verify exactly what is wrong with them.  We need to know the truth, especially if it’s bad news.  And we need to walk through His wounding if our faith and love for Him are ever going to be stronger.  God’s discipline is not always tied to something that we did wrong, but those who tried to avoid His “wounding” were disciplined even more.  I’ll let you do your own research on that one.  There are more Scripture references that I should list in this already long post.

God’s wounding hurts, but it’s still a form of love.

How might your Lord be wounding you lately?  He may be surgically opening a deeper part of your heart, digging the infection out of a relationship, sewing-up your torn faith, pushing you to walk on a weak understanding, laying more weight on your humanly-strong leadership, etc.

My surgery for aneurysms the previous year was to save my life.  My surgery the next year was to make me stronger so that I could get on with my responsibilities and enjoy life.  The Lord does both, doesn’t He?

Whatever He’s doing, His wounding is always loving. And, of course He heals, too. But that’s the topic of tomorrow’s devotional.

 

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If you’d like to know more about who publishes the articles, videos, and other materials on tools4trenches, you can click on the picture of me and my wife.

 

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