At the beginning of the summer, I noticed a small sore on my nose that wasn’t going away. It would occasionally bleed but it wasn’t painful – just a nuisance right there on my nose. A couple of months ago, I mentioned it to my doctor who sent me to have it biopsied. When the biopsy came back showing it as a small basal cell tumor, I was sent in to see the specialist.
This doctor carefully explained what was wrong, emphasized that it would not go away on it’s own, and that I needed it removed before it grew greater. So, I had it removed a few weeks ago. At that time, the doctor carefully explained how to care for the wound – I was to put Vaseline on it daily and keep it bandaged for at least four weeks. He remarked that it would look bad for several weeks but that, one day, in about 3-4 weeks, it would start looking much better. I just had to continue to care for it daily in faith that it would heal properly.
I’ve been putting on the Vaseline and bandages daily. The wound continued to look bad and even bled at times. I’m into the 4th week and yesterday, I was concerned that the wound was never going to heal. However, this morning, when I went to change the bandage, the wound looked almost healed – almost like it happened over night. As I was looking at my nose in the mirror – all up in that mirror and I will save a discussion of my vanity for another post LOL – the thought came to me that this a picture of my spiritual life over the past few years.
There was a time when I have been broken by my sin and by the sin of others. Sin tore apart the fabric of my relationships. I felt alienated from myself, from others, and from God. Evil infiltrated and divided the parts and continues to scatter some of them to increase my sense of alienation through felt distance and misunderstandings.
The result of this was not only a profound emptiness and loneliness, but also a tendency on my part to fend for myself while rejecting others’ care and involvement. Needing and trusting became too risky and I continued to venture down a path of isolation and independence from others. In order to heal me, God had to perform major surgery. In the process of healing me, He had to expose the rampant sinfulness in my heart that He died to cure. The process of healing and recovery is not always easy, nor is it instantaneous. Deep wounds take time to heal. Sin is embedded in every fiber of my being. The healing process means going under God’s knife to allow Him to deal with the sickness.
Just as the basal cell would not go away on it’s own and there was nothing I could personally do to change that, so was the sin in me. I could not remove the sin from my life by myself and, if left there, it would continue to grow and consume me. Just as the surgeon removed the tumor, so God removes the sin in my life and heart. He continues to show me where He wants to work in me and continues to promise the gift of life more abundantly.
God did not leave me to do it on my own. Not only do I have a husband who has encouraged me to put the Vaseline and bandages on daily, I have a husband who also continues to encourage me to do the things that help the healing- even when I don’t see healing. He would not allow me to isolate myself totally. He encourages me not only to attend church again but to become involved. He looks for places where I might feel accepted and loved. He refocuses me on the things of God, exhorting me to remember how faithful God is and His promises of grace and love – even when I don’t feel it.
I have a son who shares my sense of humor and sends me jokes, texts, funny movies, etc. He continues to encourage me to look at the funny parts of life. He also challenges me to think through my beliefs and to truly come to an understanding of what I believe and who I am in Christ – who I truly am and not who others think I should be.
I have stepkids, family, friends, and co workers who encourage, love, exhort, rebuke, and pray for me. God even made sure I had a little dog who loves me above all things who makes me reach out of myself even on days when I only want to retreat inside of myself.
God sends reminders of His grace and redemptive power in sermons and conversations. He sends people who show me His love – even though I am a sinner – who even now continue to reach out to this sinful introvert. He made experiences available that remind me I belong to Him. He shows me every day what a wonderfully blessed and full life I have. I am beginning to understand the phrase “the balm of Gilead.” He continues to tell me, day after day, that I am in His hand and no one can take me from Him.
So this morning, while looking in the mirror, what I saw wasn’t a sore nose but rather a child of God who, though still scarred and somewhat tender in spots, is in the process of being healed daily by a God Who can be counted on to be faithful to complete the perfect work He began in me. What an awesome God I serve!