This post is a bit different from my usual. But that’s what happens when you are lying awake at midnight, contemplating surgery the next day…
Today I told someone I was uneasy about my surgery. And my comment was met with what I perceived to be a question on my faith. (in reality it was likely intended to be a word of encouragement, but it got me thinking)
One thing I have learned over the past couple of years is that ‘religious workers’ are often put on pedestals. I know I am guilty of this. But I also know that I have zero interest in having a seat there. It is uncomfortable, very visible, and a long way from the ground.
Some folks expect me to have perfect answers. I am supposed to be totally calm under pressure. I should never appear disheveled, and should certainly not lack confidence.
If all of that is what is expected, then I am here to report that I am a complete failure. My answer is often I don’t know. I can unravel at times. I can look like a mess, and can occasionally have the appearance of utter uncertainty. If all of these expectations are accurate, then I might as well pack up and head for the states.
But I am thankful that I am forgiven. God loves me in spite of my flaws. Of course He wants greater things for me. But my uneasiness over the uncertainties of life and my frustration over challenges does not mean I don’t have faith.
“I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I’ve been closer to him for that reason.” ― Elie Wiesel
Instead I remember that when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). I know that He who is in me is greater (1John 4:4). I will face trials, but I will not face them alone (Psalm 147:3, John 16:33).
My apprehension is not an indicator of my faith. How I deal with it can be. I can choose to dwell in it, and allow worry and sorrow consume me. But instead, I choose to rest in my Savior. I choose to trust Him and His plan. And I choose to use this challenge for His glory.
So will you please be thinking of me on Wednesday? I am scheduled to check into the hospital at 8:00 am and will have surgery sometime after that. If you pray, please ask for calm nerves, overwhelming peace… and an extra measure of language understanding. Ask that the doctors will be able to proceed as planned, with no surprises, and ask for a speedy and smooth recovery.
And while you’re at it, will you also take a moment to pray for those in your life that you may have inadvertently put on pedastals? Ask God to encourage and equip them. I think Elisabeth Elliot had it right when she wrote “servants of the Lord ought to be models of the truth they proclaim.” But this should be the mantra of all followers of Christ, regardless of vocation or geographic location. May we be encouraging to each other and may we model truth to those around us!