February 2, 2022
The doctor ordered one of Kristi’s JP drains to be removed. He also instructed that they remove the evacuator and bandage covering her incision. The removal of the drain tube was a wild thing to see. It seemed to never stop coming! If you want to see the picture, let me know. It’s pretty wild! As the nurse removed the bandage, a 14-16 inch incision was revealed right down the middle of her abdomen. Her skin is stapled together and the healing process has begun.
Kristi will finally have a physical scar that reveals the trauma her body is experiencing. It’s a totally cool battle scar! I know, it’s not nice to say this, but she is pretty awesome! She has gone into battle and defeated the mass growing in her abdomen. She has come out the other side with incredible strength and resilience. She has the scars to prove it. Internally, her colon also is mending from being resected and pieced back together. I am amazed by modern medicine. Something that would have killed her in another time period, is now treated and resolved.
Some of the questions we ask ourselves are, “What are we supposed to learn?” “Who are we supposed to see?” “What mission does God have us on for His glory?” “What divine appointments will we encounter today?”
Here is what’s happened – not a day has gone by this past month where we haven’t been able to connect with someone, encourage someone, pray with someone, or point someone to Jesus. God has covered our room in a peaceful presence. Many nurses, techs, and staff have been drawn to our room because of the Spirit’s presence.
Every time I get on the elevator, I inevitably interact with a grieving family member, expecting parent, devastated spouse, tired hospital nurse, or troubled auxiliary staff. It is amazing how God has allowed me to pray with a dad who’s son was born at 26 weeks premature, pray with a lady who’s husband is fighting for his life, with a nurse who is battling her own sickness, a nurse tech who is having a bad day, an administrator who is just trying to do the best job she can, people that are far from God, and others who are questioning His goodness. The list goes on from brand new nurses just starting their careers, to a dear nurse who has been in her vocation for over 30 years.
Covid has taken a toll on the staff and budgets never seem to stretch far enough. What is God teaching us? What is He up to? Who needs His touch?
Kristi has been poked and prodded. She has been cut open and scarred. She has had stuff pulled out of her and put in her. Can this all be worth the glory of God? Can her emotional, physical, and spiritual scars reflect God’s goodness? As her husband, it tears me up every time she is in pain. It hurts me every time she is poked. I feel helpless as they have cut her to save her.
And yet, God is good. He is working. He is taking her wounds and creating opportunities to reveal Himself to people around us. Are we happy about it? Not really – not the pain. Can we see what He’s doing? Yes. Can we lean in and harness His goodness? Yes. Can we still trust Him? Yes!
Paul, the famous follower of Jesus and author of most of our Christian Scriptures, wrote in Galatians how he bore the scars that show he belonged to Jesus. He didn’t act like it was anything less than a reasonable thing to do to elevate the cross and suffering of Jesus for humanity. He counted every suffering as worth it to reveal Jesus. He wasn’t bragging about it – It was worth it for Christ.
Take a look:
“As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.” Galatians 6:14-15, 17
Paul was only interested in what the suffering would change him into. We have been praying the same. May we be transformed and useful in God’s hands. What could be greater than to experience this in life? He has seen fit to send us on this mission. He has seen fit for Kristi to suffer, lose her hair, receive harsh chemotherapy, have her spleen removed and colon resected. He has seen fit for me to be present and see my love suffer and not be able to do anything about it. We are honored to be chosen for this war. We are honored to be enlisted to receive scars to further Christ’s kingdom.
What is God doing around you? What can you learn? Who can you encourage? What divine appointment is He setting up for you? How is He going to be glorified through your life? What scars will you bear that show you belong to Christ?