On June 27th- 10 days ago- I had neck surgery. However, though it has been 10 days since the surgery, I am still not able to much of anything without help.
I still cannot dress myself, shower, cook or myself, or even bend down do life to toilet seat up without assistance from someone or something. I have become completely dependent upon nurses and family to assure that I can get by on a day to day basis, until my neck heals to the point I can once again do all of these things on my own.
As a fiercely independent person, this level of dependence upon others has been truly humbling and frustrating, to be honest.
However, through it all, God has also reminded me of the urgency of being completely dependent upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.“- John 15:5
In the same way that I am not able to put on clothing without the assistance of the nurse- without suffering from a great deal of pain and discomfort, I am reminded that I am also not able to experience the victorious Christian life without utterly depending upon the Lord and putting on the whole armor of God.
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand . Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:“- Ephesians 6:11-17
The neurosurgeon prescribed Morphine and Oxycodone to help me manage the extreme pain I feel from the surgical wounds which are still healing. It is not likely that I could have functioned without them.
The Lord reminded me that I also cannot function without feeding upon His Word, every single day, that I may know and do His will according to His purposes:
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.“- Matthew 4:4
Through my physical suffering, I have been experiencing God in ways that are deeper than I had experienced in many ways.
The Lord reminded me that I had become to Independent. That I had somehow lost a level of zeal for His Word and relied too much upon intellect and historical experiences.
On what I already knew rather than depending on Jesus, one day at a time. It was so easy to get caught up in what seemed to be significant accomplishments in this world, particularly as I felt I was fighting for “God given rights”.
Yet, there were times, in retrospect, that I depended too much on my own intellect and/or events and programs rather than upon what Jesus was doing, day to day.
Of course, I had not done any of these things intentionally or with bad intentions, but I had to come to terms with the conviction of the Holy Spirit on my heart and the consequences of my guilt in so many areas of my life.
There is indeed much pain and suffering that comes as a result of being led by our own understanding rather than by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
I thank you, Lord, for never casting me aside, even as I became too self willed. Thank you for reminding me, through my suffering, to follow the Lord Jesus one day at a time, that I might be- day by day- right in the center of your will for my life.