On July 28, 2010, I had a total knee replacement. What I had been trying to put off for several years finally became necessary as I struggled with the reality of the surgery in light of the many prayers that had been offered on my behalf for healing for at least the past 15+ years. But that struggle is for a different article at a different time.
If you have had surgery – and I have had 4 other knee surgeries – there is a lot to deal with in post-op recovery, much of which is centered around the anesthesia they use and the pain medication you may need to take once you are home. This time, my take-home medication was Vicodin.
One of the “faith lessons” the LORD has been trying make real in my life before the surgery, was learning how to “abide in Him” and in His love. After the surgery, I had forgotten about that – wish I could blame the anesthesia or the pain meds! But, the LORD is faithful “in-surgery” and “out-of-surgery”, and taught me some new ways to look at my prayer time alone with Him through the surgery. I’d like to share with you at least 2 “faith lessons” I am in the process of learning “post-op”:
1. God wants my “presence” more than my “productivity in prayer”; and, …
2. God is capable of “multi-tasking.”
Let me explain …
Truth #1: God Wants US More Than What We Can Do for Him!
In the Gospel of John, chapter 15:4-10, the word “abide” is used 8 times in 7 verses, and Jesus exhortation to “abide in Me” and “abide in My love” is the main point. Just a few other translations of the word “abide” (Greek word “meno”) are: “dwell, remain, wait, wait for, await, expect, stay and tarry.”
But I have to admit, that during my knee rehab at home, Ive learned a lot about this concept of “abide” from 2 of my 3 cats. They jump up on the bed, where I feel like I am in a semi-vegetative state, do their best to get my attention to pet them while they “knead bread” on my bed or on my body, then simply curl up in the crook of my arm or near one of my legs and “purr themselves to sleep.” If I dare move, they take umbrage! In fact, our male cat seeks me out to where I may have moved to see if he can resume his “abiding” presence next to mine. I wish I could give myself to the LORD as freely as my cat just give their presence to me!
In John 17:21, Jesus takes this a step further:
21 “that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Jesus last prayer before the crucifixion was that of our unity and community with Him and the Father would become an important part of our witness to Jesus in the world.
While prayer is an incredible privilege, God has been doing just fine without us in creating and holding the world together even when we dont pray! The fact that God chooses to use our prayers is a “bonus”! But through my learning to grow in intimacy with Him, I am learning more about His heart in what I should pray… in what is on His heart at that particular moment in time (cf. John 5:19-20).
So, when my brain feels like mush (wish I could say that was just only from the pain meds and anesthesia), I can relax, and make “abiding in Jesus” or “Abba-Father” my enjoyable priority. Pretty good first-thing-to-do even when our brains or bodies or souls don’t feel like mush!
Truth #2: God Is Able to “Multi-Task”!
Let’s look at 3 scripture verses and how they “intersect”:
10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)
26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; (2 Corinthians 4:7)
How They Intersect:
Let’s begin with the wonder of Matthew 6:10. When we pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven”, have you ever stopped to think about how many different things we are asking God to bring about all at the same time? It’s mind-boggling!
Take for just a moment all that is involved with praying for the healing of say “a knee”: ligaments, muscles, cartilage, blood vessels, bone, etc… What if there is some form of arthritis or other disease or condition involved? Now to get even more mind-boggling, think of how many different cells are involved in all this.
Yet, according to Romans 8:26-27, when we simply pray for the healing of “a knee”, God knows everything that is involved in order to heal it. The Holy Spirit can pray through us in ways that we cannot for exactly what is “kneed-ed” (pun intended).
As 2 Corinthians 4:7 reminds us about our prayers, “the power will be of God and not from ourselves”. In fact, when I am simply “abiding” in Abba-Daddies presence, I can rest in the assurance that, if the Father wants to intercede through me while I am enjoying Him, that is not too small a thing for Him to do; and I dont even “kneed” to be aware of it! The LORD has the power and the ability and the delight to do such things.
I choose to “rest in Him”, and tell the Holy Spirit that I yield to whatever intercessions He wishes to do through me that may be on the Fathers Heart at this point in time. If the Spirit wishes for me to know what they are – AMEN! If not, that’s alright, too.
The point is for “His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
I’ve been noticing that as I focus first on “abiding in His love”, that after a while I have more of a sense of peace and joy about what intercessions I may offer afterwards; sometimes I even have a sense that intercessions have already been done through me.
Remember these two truths:
1. God wants your “presence” more than your “productivity in prayer”; and, …
2. God is capable of “multi-tasking” through you while you simply enjoy His Presence.
Don’t seek surgery to learn these things!
Sincerely Yours in Christ,