I am one of those people with a rare fact: I have never had stitches, broke a bone, or stayed overnight at a hospital (outside of my first few days from the womb). I had a surgery once, but it was only to get my tonsils taken out. I got free popsicles that day, so that doesn’t really count. Sometimes I wish I had more tonsils to give just so I could get another free popsicle.
But anyways… sometimes I forget that God is seen as the Great Physician. I ask for healing, but sometimes I forget what “healing” means. Whether it is spiritual or emotional or physical, it is hard for me to conceptualize “being made better,” because sometimes I forget that I was ever sick… mostly because I rarely get sick. So sometimes I pray for healing not really knowing what that means. I ask for something my mind doesn’t completely understand. When I get my answer – when healing has finally warmed its place within my heart of hearts – I don’t really realize that anything happened. Then months later the light bulb will burst forth with an iridescent shine above my brow as I realize that the pain I once felt was gone, and I am now more complete than before.
God is good like that. He heals when we don’t know we are sick. He sees the disease when we merely see the symptoms. He heals us when we don’t realize we are hurting. God is good like that. He is the Great Physician, and He has come to heal.
I think when God takes us under the knife there are one of two types of ailments he is alleviating. There is the tumor and the appendix. The tumor is an obvious threat. It is a protrusion bulging from one’s true self. It is a growth of miscalculated DNA that is slowly sucking the life out of a person. They clearly see this as something that isn’t right. The signs are seen from a mile away! One look in the mirror is a reminder that this person needs to change.
Maybe you have a bad habit that you just can’t shake. Maybe sometimes you burst out in a fit of rage to the ones that you love, and you quickly retreat to a place of self-loathing and grief. If you remain how you are, the outcome is simple: you will never become the person you need to be, and push everyone you love away. It is scary. And you know it is time to change.
The appendix for mankind was probably something that was needed a long time ago, but over time man had adapted to a point where the appendix now just exists. And in man, sometimes the appendix gets filled with disgusting stuff, and what was originally created to help man now might kill him if not removed. I think mankind is like that with some things. As a child, God put defense mechanisms or habits in some people’s paths to protect them in their pain or ignorance. But some of these things will have to eventually go for the person to mature, or they will become stagnant.
Maybe through God’s provision He helped you get a job, but now it is time for you to take a step out in faith and move your way up the ladder of influence into another professional field. If you stay where you are, you might be at a place where you aren’t challenged or used to the best of your ability. You aren’t only doing yourself a disfavor but you are also disfavoring God and the world.
Most people find it really easy to see the tumors in their lives. Addictions and social sins paint a grim picture of one’s self-image. Because of this, people usually spend most of their lives working on getting rid of the tumors in their lives. They spend so much time on trying to remove their own tumors, that they miss God’s hand and miss noticing the appendix. For this reason, it is usually ignoring the slow and increasing pain of the appendix that kills people (I am speaking strictly spiritually here).
You can try to improve yourself, but remember that God is the One who is promised to be faithful to sanctify through and through. Also, remember that you need to be holistic when approaching Christ-likeness. Not doing the right thing is just as bad as blatantly doing the wrong thing. Knowing who you are in Christ is the first step to becoming more like him. Remember that Christ took the pain of the cross for our holistic healing.