Monday, January 2, 2012

Heart Surgery

Submission, worship and prayer.

These are the three areas I feel (know) I need work. So I am carefully contemplating asking for it.

It feels like a dangerous prayer. And if I am honest, I've already prayed it, because in the moment of revelation where God is showing me that's what I need, I actually want it. But when the process is happening, I find myself less certain that it's what I want. As soon as the discomfort is there, I'm ready to bail.

It's only about 60 hours or so since I prayed it with confidence. And although the Lord has already shown me He was listening, I find myself wanting to take it back.

It's sort of like having heard the diagnosis from the doctor. He's said, "your heart is sick, and the only answer is surgery." The problem is, I don't feel "sick." At least not all the time. If I'm resting, and not trying to exert myself (spiritually) I don't notice the weakness in my heart. If i sit back and relax, I feel fine, in fact, that is if I willingly ignore the need to get off the "couch" to live the abundant life God has called me to.

But the truth is, the diagnosis isn't in what I feel, it's in what the Physician sees. He knows the signs, He knows the dangers, and He is a good doctor, and so if He says I need "surgery," He's right. And because even getting to His examination room required enough heart effort to feel the weakness and sickness inside, I agree with his diagnosis, and I sign up for his treatment plan.

So I show up for surgery. Showing up doesn't require a lot of effort, and as I wait to be wheeled into the "operating room," I find myself leaning back, comfortable, and not feeling the stress or strain of my weak heart at all. Even as I am wheeled into the operating room, I'm feeling pretty good.

As I lay waiting, I find myself thinking maybe I don't need surgery after all. I mean the fact is, the surgery is likely to be painful, the recovery a slow and even difficult process. Maybe I'd rather just live with the weak heart. It's not killing me today, so maybe I'd rather just wait, and make the best of my weakened condition. And that's why I want to climb off the operating table, run out of the operating room and never look back.

I am tired of being torn between living with this weakened heart and suffering the process of God fixing it.

It's been a long dang season. I thought I was finally seeing a season of change up ahead, and now I feel like what I thought was going to be different isn't going to be different at all. At least not unless I finally get up on that operating table and let God do the work He needs to do.

There's that first part of that list, submit. And the situation comes full circle.

I am tired of loss. I am tired of loneliness. I am tired of feeling like an outsider. I am tired of feeling stuck. But I am terrified of the process of change. But I am even more terrified of things never changing.

I want to know every detail of the surgery. I want my Surgeon to tell me exactly what He's going to do. I want Him to tell me all the what's and the why's. I want to know how and I want to know how long, but He's not talking. And I know why- it's the one thing I am certain about.

It's not for me to know, because I'm not the Physician, and I'm not in charge of the surgery. Just as I can't fully know what the problem with my heart is, neither can I know or understand what is required to fix it. And I need to just trust the One who does.

Honestly, I wish it was my physical heart that needed fixing. There would probably be clearer answers about the healing process then. But no, it's not that simple.

I need to just face the diagnosis, and let the Doctor do His job (submit); I need to focus on the One who knows what He's doing and give Him the honor and respect to trust Him to be who He is, and accomplish what He can (worship); and I need to just ask Him to do the work that needs to be done, and to help me through the healing process, whatever it may require (prayer).

I've never felt so alone, but that's the thing about surgery, there isn't anyone there who can hold your hand. Laying alone on the operating table is a lonely and scary place. But what's the risk if I don't allow the surgery to be done? That needs to be the scariest question of all.


nancygrayce said...

I love this post. Because I need to let Him do the surgery too. You really aren't alone, there are many of us out here trying to get on that table, then trying desperately to get off.


Reminds me of Much-Afraid, who represents so many of us, in Hind's Feet on High Places. It would be eassier (in a sense) if He just picked us up, no-nonsense, and lashed us to the altar. Then we could struggle and bleat and say it's all His fault.

But when He says, "Climb up here and die with Me," when He says, "You have a choice--do you want Me or everything else?", when He says, "Do it for the joy that is set before you," that's different.

You are in a holy place, Diana. If Much-Afraid can do it, you can do it. And there IS someone holding your hand--the Surgeon Himself. It is so, so worth it!