I was laying on the operating table about to go under anesthesia before surgery. The nurse put put the IV in my left hand and she hit a nerve! I screamed out in pain!

The surgery was a success — the tumor is gone and there was no cancer! — but four days later I feel like the man with a withered hand who knelt before Jesus in the synagogue (Mark 3:1-5).

Kristi and I and many family members and friends prayed. We even prayed for me to be spared from unnecessary pain. But I’m in pain.

So we all began praying for God to regenerate the damaged nerve. A friend and pastor came to our house to anoint my hand with oil and pray for healing. I stretched out my withered hand  for Christ to heal…

Then yesterday, without thinking, I reached down with my left hand to pick up a bag and cried out in excruciating pain! I felt like I’d been electrocuted! I’m not healed yet.

When Fears Attack

Fears began assaulting me like a pack of vicious, wild dogs.

What if your hand doesn’t heal? How will you function? What if you can never exercise again? (I’ve never gone more than one week without working out.) What if you can’t write anymore? (I’m laboriously typing with one hand now!) If God loves you then why didn’t he answer your prayers? He’s forsaken you.

Then the worst fear… God has left you. You’re alone. Unloved.

It’s tempting to view God in the dark shadows of bad circumstances. Unwittingly, we listen to Satan’s lies and accusations.

Clearing Up Our Image of God

I’m choosing to view my circumstances in the light of God…

Thank you Lord for a successful surgery. Thank you for 52 years of health. Thank you that out of the 90,000 miles of nerve sensation pathways in my body all but a few inches are functioning perfectly!

Thank you for the many people who care for me, especially Kristi who is continuously serving me. Thank you that YOU love me perfectly — always!

Jesus, I thank you for your cross. Thank you for healing me of sin and reconciling me to God. Thank you for defeating the devil.

And thank you my precious Savior and sovereign Lord for the sweet fellowship of connecting with your sufferings and showing me that God has not left me alone. With love for us you took the nails that struck the nerves in your hands and feet. You screamed out in pain, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And still you trusted in God as your dear Abba Father.

Friends, in our dark trials let’s pray the bright side of Psalm 22, which Jesus also prayed (he invoked the whole psalm on the cross):

For Yahweh has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
He has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help. (v 24)

A New Expression

Now I really understand the meaning of the expression, “That hit a nerve!” I feel it in my hand. I feel it at the cross of Christ.

And I’m extending my withered hand to Jesus — waiting for healing, worshipping God.

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