Invisible Inbetweens

[Estimated reading time: 3m10s]

Imagine if they didn’t put you under anesthesia for surgery.

Adam was asleep while God removed his rib. I think a consequence of the Fall we’ve yet to dissect is our immunity to God’s anesthesia. I think we wake up and freak out when we were meant to rest and trust.

If surgeons and anesthesiologists didn’t put us under before they operated, there’d be a lot less surgery. Fewer people would be willing to endure the pain. And even among those who would, fewer would be able to stay quiet while the surgery is happening.

I bet surgeons would hear some pretty crazy things in the operating room.

Take Jeremiah, for example.

He wakes up mid-operation and says, “Lord, you deceived me.”

Now, there’s a tattoo idea.

It happens often enough to no longer be eligible for coincidence. God gives a promise and a dream, followed by a lengthy, confusing series of events that has every participant wondering, Okay, surely I’ve missed it.

God doesn’t author confusion, but he’s also not the only author. There’s no Psalm that says, “The Lord is quick to answer all my questions as soon as I ask them. He refuses to tolerate any of his children ever being confused for even the slightest amount of time.”

Mid-op observations never line up with God’s word.

When you wake up mid-surgery, you’ll wonder 2 things.

First, you’ll doubt the surgeon wants to help you. He’s got you cut open, for Christ’s sake.

Second, you’ll doubt yourself. If you can muster enough faith to believe the surgeon is good regardless of the pain you feel, you might start wondering what you did wrong to deserve this pain.

“Jesus, this blind man—why’s he blind? Who sinned? Him? His parents?”

“No one. This happened so the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Think about that the next time you’re making a mid-op observation—you gave him your life.

Your logic will betray you—If the worst criminals are simply executed, then what sort of crime have I committed that merits they lay me down and tear me open like this?

There was a short period between Nabal the Fool’s death and Abigail’s marriage to David. We look at her situation as entirely positive, but we don’t know what that inbetween looked like.

“But she’s marrying King David! Why would she be upset?”

She went from wealth and opulence to wilderness wandering almost overnight. You have the advantage of over 2 millenniums’ worth of history to point out she went from being married to the guy who partied like a king to marrying the actual king, but you’re overlooking the invisible inbetween where she had to plan a wedding and a funeral.

As it turns out, the only one who can see your invisible inbetweens is an invisible God.

Adam was put under before God took out his rib, but Jesus felt every millimeter of the spear that pierced his side. He reversed the curse so we could emulate his example—so your surgery could even be possible in the first place—but you better believe your flesh will feel every ounce of every spear and scalpel that’ll be used in your operation.

Part of you will feel at peace and at rest; the other part will fluctuate anxiously between blaming God and yourself for whatever it is that’s happening (or not happening) in your life.

Mark 4. A storm threatens the disciples.

“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

In other words,

“Who sinned, this man or his parents?”

In other words,

“God, where are you?”

“God, did you forget me?”

“God, what’d I do wrong?”

The portion of you that wakes up mid-op to make observations is on his/her way out. The whole point of surgery is to remove your Nabal, your blindness, and any semblance of questioning his goodness for you.

Of course, that wasn’t the last thing Jeremiah said.

Several verses/seasons/surgeries later, he goes on to say this,

“But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior.”

You might misunderstand Jesus’ heart if you think his warrior tactics are going to look like yours. You might think his sword is for you to hold, but it’s actually the scalpel he’ll be using on you.

As for what you’re supposed to carry, remember Mark 4:

The disciples are in a storm that makes them wonder the same things your storms make you wonder. They’re doubting the same heart we’re doubting.

And Jesus, setting the example, has brought nothing with him, except a pillow.

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