My husband had hip replacement surgery this past Wednesday. He had researched the procedure and talked with other “hippies” (pardon the pun) and all the data seemed optimistic. Things were said like, “Oh I was up walking the same day” and “I couldn’t believe the difference the surgery made.” I think we went in knowing it would be major surgery but somehow believed recovery would be a breeze. I think my husband will tell you, it’s not a breeze. We realize now that recovery will be a larger undertaking than we first thought. The first week or so after surgery had been left out of the data. Maybe for the best, or maybe because the happy healed ones had forgotten the initial post surgery pain. Regardless, it will take time to heal. It will take work to rehabilitate the abuse his leg took at the skilled hands of the surgeon. Oddly enough the pain radiates not from the hip, but his quadriceps…didn’t see that coming!
When we have an organ, joint or limb that isn’t working properly we want the surgeon to operate on it. Removing or repairing the offensive part. We get stitched up and sent on our way home with a list of instructions. It’s during the first few days after surgery that we begin to wonder if the original ailment was really all that bad…it really hurts to get fixed! Sometimes we find pain where we least expect it! We leave the hospital or surgery center with our instructions in hand, promising in our hearts to do exactly as they say. Sadly, a lot of times the list falls by the wayside after only a little time. So often a procedure fails because we stubbornly refuse to follow the physicians post-op instructions. My husband and I have had major surgeries before and learned to appreciate these instructions and follow them. We realize the trained professionals have given us these guidelines for our own good. We’re also thankful for the dedication of good physicians.
In reflection, becoming a Christian is no different. We hear people’s testimonies and see the glowing change and peace and want that healing immediately! People tend to believe that once they repent of their sins, and ask Jesus to come dwell in their hearts, that’s it. They’re done. They go on as before with no change to lifestyle or thought process.
That’s not how it works.
When we sincerely cry out to our Master Physician to come and heal our brokenness, more often than not it will hurt. Oh how it can hurt! But then the healing sets in. Our Supreme Surgeon works on the heart that admits it needs help. He removes what needs removing, and reshapes what needs reshaping. Refining surgery. But He does have a list of
post-Christian instructions like the cleansing bath of Baptism, and a daily dosage of Scripture and prayer. He gave us His word to teach us the things that will insure a healthy and complete recovery. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us” (Romans 15:4a NIV). You see, unlike earthly doctors, Jesus wants to continue a relationship with you long after your recovery. He longs to know how you’re doing and continue caring for you always. He doesn’t want you to toss the instructions aside and go through the pain of opening old wounds. He doesn’t want you to return to brokenness. He wants to assure that you keep Him in your favorites list, and stay the course of good spiritual health.
My husband is looking at several weeks of restorative physical therapy. It will be painful at first. But the result will be a looser, pain free hip. He will have to exercise the joint, sore as it is, to make sure it begins to work properly. He’ll heal and regain his peace and contentment. He will always have to care for his cool new joint. As we age we’re encouraged to keep moving…to flex muscles and bend joints, working them to the best of our ability. Our hearts and minds age too. So even years after turning our lives over to Jesus, we continue in Christ therapy. Prayer, worship, service and daily devotion time.
With out it we know we we’d weaken and break.