I have a seven-inch surgical scar on my right knee. While it’s healed and my leg functions well, it reminds me of past trauma and the road well traveled.
Rewind to 1987. My leg was twisted and churned during a rollover accident. I had so many injuries, the damage to my knee went undiagnosed by questionable medical practices as I lay in a hospital bed. It remained that way even as I went home to heal after a few weeks.
It was not until I returned to work four months later, and gave chase to a suspect for strong-armed robbery, that my knee buckled and I hit the ground writhing in pain. A torn MCL took me to my first arthroscopic surgery. Because I was young and invincible, or so I thought, I ignored the medical advice by continuing physical activity that eventually led to the erosion of inner parts holding the joint together.
In 2007 I had a second arthroscopy to clear the damage. The doctor said it was simply a matter of time before the knee would fail to function and I would need an artificial joint.
In 2013, the cartilage was gone, the meniscus was sanded away, bones rubbing together developed a spur on the inner knee, and the MCL, ACL, and PCL’s all looked like “shredded drapes” according to my surgeon.
“Tell me something I don’t already know” was my reply.
“Ok, your leg is about 20 degrees off-axis. Can you see how it bows outward from the knee down? That’s not an illusion. It is because the bone spur is so large, it has created a wedge forcing your leg in the wrong direction.” So it was time for my third surgery—complete knee replacement.
My new joint consists of titanium and polyethylene. It is secured in place beneath the surgical scar. My leg is no longer off-axis, but straight.
While my body is repaired, the scar will forever remind me of the damage that was done. It’s unfortunate, but I cannot un-do the past or wallow in the present.
We all have scars. Some are physical, some emotional. God is in the business of healing wounds, but he will not impose His will upon us. We need to seek Him as the Great Physician, and fully understand His eternal perspective for our wellbeing is always spiritual healing, but may or may not include physical healing.
Two spiritual stalwarts who’ve prayed for physical healing include Joni Eareckson Tada and Nick Vujucic. Joni became a quadriplegic following a diving accident as a teenager. Nick was born without arms and legs. Each had emotional and physical scars beyond measure, but they’ve also experienced spiritual healing and have been instruments for God in indescribable ways—opportunities that would be lost if they clung to anger, bitterness, or resentment.
They each understand that physical healing does not always lead to spiritual healing, but spiritual healing will lead to physical healing in eternity since it is written, “… What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44.) “But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all thing to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21.)
Did you catch that? Our lowly (broken, mutilated, deformed, disfigured, burned, or simply aged) body to be like His glorious (perfect, complete, illuminating, magnificent, and ageless) body!
This is where healing begins. “… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9.)
After that it is a series of decisions that reinforce daily renewal in your commitment. Jesus said, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:25-26.)
Jesus is waiting in the symbolic emergency room, are you ready to be healed?