Last week I had minor hand surgery to repair a trigger finger. And, man, did I learn a lot! I certainly learned some things about trigger fingers, hands and tendons. But that was minor compared to the learnings God brought to my mind.
This spiritual learning started when the surgeon came and took my right hand. While holding it he verified who I was, which finger was the problem, and that he was going to help by doing the surgery. He then marked on my hand, with indelible ink, an arrow to the finger and placed his initials next to the arrow. It was his way of making sure everyone knew I was his patient and that he alone was responsible for the surgery. Then, when he was ready to begin he once again held my hand up and verified everything, for my sake and for the confidence of all the staff around us. Then he went to work on my hand, doing the surgery to release the finger. When the surgery was about done he again held up my hand and asked me to move the finger to assure us all that he had done what he had promised to do.
The most valuable learnings – perhaps more reminders than first-time learnings – had to do with how God, through Jesus, has His hands on us.
God, through Jesus, reminds us who we are – we are His!
- But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1-2)
- “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him… he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 1:3-5)
God, through Jesus, has taken responsibility for us.
- “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.” (Isaiah 43:13 New Living Translation)
- “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29 New Living Translation)
God, through Jesus, helps us.
- “For I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 New Living Translation)
- “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers,they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2-3)
- “Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 Contemporary English Version)
God, through Jesus, does surgery on us.
- “He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness…he has turned his hand against me…he has made my skin and my flesh grow old and broken my bones…he walled me in (and) weighed me down…he pierced my heart…I have hope because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:1-23)
- Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35)
Wow! From a brief minor hand surgery came these powerful major lessons from God. I am the richer for it. I certainly have a new appreciation for the old saying, “There are no minor surgeries!” So “Thank you trigger finger. Without you, I would be the poorer.”