Saturday, June 25, 2011

Of Fixable and Treatable

We’ve been down this road before—back surgery. Yet, here we go again. A graft didn’t heal properly so one of the screws holding the hardware is loose. Painful doesn’t quite describe it for some days.

I’m not a painkiller taker. I learned the hard way that those things can create more problems than they alleviate. So I’ll opt for whatever keeps me comfortable even if I’m not pain-free.

That’s not current with American thinking. We’re pressed to live pain-free lives. Isn’t that a part of freedom from want? It’s at least in there with quality of life. We can throw a whole load of things in those two buckets. Quality of life and freedom from want requires me to have the latest in electronic gear in my home, too. Don’t want to be socially deprived. It might cause an emotional slide from which I might not recover.

I visited a doctor recently about my little problem. Having moved from one state to another I was in the process of setting up the procedures for what ought to be a forthcoming surgery to correct the little issue regarding my failed graft and loose screw. At first the doctor offered me an opium pump. Sure. I’ll just zone out for the rest of my life. Never mind what the drug does to my body over the long run. No fix, just mask the problem. I don’t think so.

Eventually, after explaining a variety of fix-it procedures, he basically said I wasn’t fixable. Failed grafts are repaired with minimal success, according to him.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or walk out on him. I already knew I wasn’t fixable. I wanted to know if I was treatable. In the end he transferred my care to a doctor in Little Rock, and I called my doctor in Mississippi to reverify which treatments would work to correct my situation. Leaving the screw out, as suggested by this new doctor, was certainly not among them. My Mississippi doctor is writing a letter as a consult to the new doctor in Little Rock.

Still, the fixable/treatable tension played on my mind. There’s a difference. What ails me is the result of original sin playing havoc in the members of my body. That’s not fixable by medicine. Ananias was told by God to go to Paul, but was reluctant. God told him, “I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). Paul asked for a thorn to be removed from his flesh. God replied that His grace was sufficient, and His power is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

Can a doctor treat my condition? Sure. Can he fix it? I dunno. Perhaps God has other plans and intentions. I look at my mother who has been dealing with this disease for a lot longer than I have. I have no complaints and many more prayers—especially for her who needs them more than I—before I start to whine and suggest God has ignored my pleas for relief. God ignores neither of us. Our Father leads us to salvation His way.

For a great sermon on this topic follow this link.    

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