Thursday, March 18, 2010

Open Heart Surgery

The past few Mondays I've had outpatient heart surgery. No, no - please don't panic! This is a good thing! My surgeon is the best - some call Him Yahweh, others Jehovah - I mostly call Him "Father".

It's amazing how God knows those little things that have been left behind, little wounds that have mostly healed, but still need a bit of attention. Things that might be easy to overlook, justify away, ignore...until they become infected and spread their cancerous growth of bitterness, fear, pride, envy. But God is a faithful and skilled surgeon..."For the wordof God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

What I am about to share is very difficult, and quite may be hard to read, but I felt that by sharing it, I can share God's faithfulness with you.

The first Monday I had surgery, we were together as a base, worshipping the Lord as we do every Monday morning. It was a wonderful time of worship and intercession, and we were fighting together for the breakthrough in finances needed by many of our students and staff. The air was electric and the energy was high. Suddenly, without warning or any discernible reason, I was transported in my mind to another time and place. Six weeks into my second marriage, and my face, neck and chest were scalded from the hot coffee that had just been thrown on me. My husband was on top of me, choking me with one hand and the other cocked back in a fist aimed for my face. I had already ducked out of the way of the first punch, which ended with a broken hand for him. As I lay there, helpless, I did the only thing that came to my mind to do...I gave up. I played dead. I completely surrendered. Literally, I let every muscle in my body go limp and waited to see what came next.

As this scene went through my mind, I began weeping. "This is all in the past - I've dealt with this and moved on! God, why are You bringing this up again?"

Gently, with the grace and love only God can have, He showed me how this one incident had robbed me of my will to fight, to stand up for myself, to look the enemy in the face and say "enough!" Instead, I had become complacent in the face of difficulty and conflict - passive. God wanted to restore that, to restore me to wholeness. Tough when I need to be tough, gentle when I need to be to stand in the evil day (Ephesians 6:13).

"Forgive me, Lord, forgive my passivity and complacency. Teach me and restore me! And God, I forgive him...again." How faithful is He who is more concerned about our hearts than our works, for we know that, "He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).