For the past several months I’ve been experiencing agonizing pain in my right hand. After office visits and tests the verdict was that I needed to have carpal tunnel release surgery. With each doctor visit I was hopeful for a remedy to the pain, yet when the remedy came in the form of surgery, I wasn’t all that happy.
Thursday morning daughter Kate drove me to the hospital. It was a rainy gray day and my insides were not thrilled with the prospects of the day. Even as we walked into the hospital, I wondered why I was doing this. I didn’t have to have the surgery. It was not going to be a fun experience, so why do it?
Even as the nurse stuck needles in my hands and the doctors discussed the procedure with me, part of my brain was saying, “GET UP AND LEAVE! YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE HERE.” This must be why they offer to give you “something” before the surgery to calm you down. Years ago I had a tumor removed from my thyroid at Mayo Clinic. Before the surgery they gave me something call Darvocet. I still remember laying on a gurney in the hallway thinking, “I should get up and walk out of here. They are going to slit my throat. Oh well.” That Darvocet is something else.
However, this time I didn’t have any drugs in my system – and yet I stayed and had the surgery. Mildly sedated during the surgery, I woke to find my right hand swathed in padding, a brace, and a bandage. My arm was three times its normal size because of the wrapping. And it was totally numb. They said feeling would come back little by little during the day. Then I should take pain pills. I’m fine now, experiencing some numbness and pain in the tendons that are disgruntled from the surgery, but I can type and do most tasks.
So, why did I go through with the surgery? When I was little and went to the dentist, my mom was there to make me go. When my girls were little and I had to take them to the doctor, I was their rock (or prison guard) to help them endure the vaccinations. No one was there to make me have the surgery. So why did I do it? Because of the promise that the agonizing pain in my hand would stop. Because of the promise of what was to come.
I couldn’t help but correlate that to my Christian walk. Why do I do it? Why do I take the hard road instead of the easy way? Why do I try so hard to do the things that will please God rather than please me? Why do I care when I sin?
Because of the promise of what is to come.
If I look at the immediate, I miss the eternal. And the eternal is worth so much more than what is offered here and now.
Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”