I am thrilled to have Jon back for another guest post. He emailed the post to me with the subject line "Going to the Hospital", I did a double-take, and thought helpful things like, "You think email is really the best way to drop that information on me? Not even a text?!" Anyway, enjoy his post and be sure to show him some comment love.
I’ve been to the hospital before. Before I went, I had a visit with the friendly surgeon. During the pre-op visit, he said, “You have a hernia.” I said, “I know. I’ve known since my very first physical.”
“We need to fix it.”
“It’s not causing me a problem.”
No one really wants to go to the hospital. If you have to pick your favorite spot, your vacation location, the place you want to spend your free time in, it would not be the hospital.
If something is wrong with you, say a sharp pain in your gut, you go to the Doctor. Based on your description of symptoms, he puts his finger someplace and asks, “Does that hurt?” After you regain your composure and your breath you gasp, “Yes,” (The Doctor probably already knew that based on your extended moan and red face, but he still has to ask. )
“Appendix. We’re gonna have to fix that.” This is code for a hospital visit. Now you as the patient can refuse, but you consider the consequences you’ll probably decide to take the Doctor’s advice and you voluntarily go to the hospital for surgery.
The hospital staff makes you feel welcome, treats you very nicely, and tries to make you feel comfortable as they tell you to strip and put on this airy robe that doesn’t cover your backside. You don’t worry because they’re professionals, right? This is their living.
You get some kind of anesthetic to make the pain bearable so the Doctor can cut into your insides and fix what’s wrong. It can be embarrassing, painful, difficult and expensive. Recovery can take weeks or even months. However, the results speak for themselves. With the removal of the infected appendix, you continue to live.
We so often think of going to Church for a good, uplifting word, for encouragement for the rest of the week, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, Church should be more like a hospital for sinners. We are infected with sin, and through the message, the readings, the testimonies, we should expect God to put his finger somewhere in our lives and say, “Does that hurt?”
Once we’ve been diagnosed, we have a decision to make. Will we put on the gown and let the Lord work? It can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, and downright painful to remove a sin that is a part of our lives. On the other hand, we can walk away and let the problem continue to fester.
It makes me think of the instance in John 5 where Jesus asks the sick man at the Pool of Bethesda, “Do you wish to be healthy?” In stead of the obvious, “YES! I want to be healthy,” the man said he didn’t have any helpers and those around him were aggravating his problem.
The next time you’re in church, when the “Doctor” finds the “pain” and asks if you want to be “healthy”, say “YES!” and endure procedure of restoration. At the moment it won’t be pleasant, but it will definitely be worth it later.
Jon and I have been married almost 20 years. He is a diligent Bible student and teacher. He'd like to be Ravi Zacharias when he grows up.