Archive for April, 2023

The Biggest Empty Ever

Trying to recover from brain surgery over Easter weekend was a new adventure. I seriously do not remember an Easter Sunday I was not dressed, blessed and in church singing hallelujah choruses and rejoicing. But that’s not to say God did not show up to give me something new and profound.

I love the scriptures that promise His presence. Two of my favorites:  Psalm 139:7 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”  and Deut 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

He has been with me these past few weeks of anxiously waiting for surgery. He was with me in the pre-surgery room for almost 12 hours because of the delayed surgery time. He entered the operating room before I did. He was beside my recovery bed while I suffered from extreme nausea and vomiting. He has not left me for a moment and He never will.

What dawned on me Easter morning as I read scriptures about His resurrection was this– there is one location He is not and never will be again.  The Tomb!

The biggest empty of all time happened resurrection morning! From the moment His Father called Him to rise, the ever-present Spirit of God has never graced that space again. No physical presence. No scent of Him. No sound of Him. No tiny cell or flake of skin!

Rest assured there is no place our Savior will not accompany us – except to the empty tomb. There is no darkness He will not walk us through – except the darkness of the empty tomb. There is no corner He will not illuminate for us – except the corners of the empty tomb.

While remembering the sacrifice on the cross, the burial and the rolled stone are critical to our faith, I never realized before this week that remembering the absence of His presence in this one and only location is key.

His life saving effort on Sunday morning was one and done! Never needing to be repeated. And it tells us three things:

  • Stop going back to the dark places God has rescued us from. There is nothing there for us.
  • If we don’t choose the Resurrected Redeemer, we choose the greatest emptiness to ever be recorded.
  • Let’s not keep pining to visit the place His Spirit isn’t – the location of the tomb. Let’s focus on visiting the places where His Spirit needs to be – the homeless camps, the hospitals, the streets, the schools, the neighbors, the family dinner table. 

“He is not here; for He is risen …” Matthew 28:6.

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Today marks a final countdown to yet another surgery. I thought 2023 would be a healthy, back-on-my-feet-again year. Unfortunately the CT scan done at the point of my motorcycle accident last June uncovered something completely unrelated – a tumor on the pituitary. It couldn’t be dealt with then but now that I’m recovered from the accident, it’s time.

There is one problem with a planned surgery versus emergency surgery. You have lots of time to think about it while waiting. Not a good thing. Not only do you have time to think, but you have time to do what your doctors tell you not to do – Google. So, I’ve googled way too many times and read way too many articles.

I have plenty of time to think and google because I’ve been isolating to avoid all the bugs going around. The last thing I want is a cancellation. In all of my spare time, when I’m not googling, I’m studying scriptures for encouragement. Today I stumbled on Luke Chapter 8 and the story of the woman who was in need of healing. I’ve read the story many times, but this time it was especially poignant.

A few new things jumped out:

  1. Jesus had more pressing matters at hand –
    • Someone very important needed Him – a ruler of the synagogue
    • A young child with her whole life ahead of her was dying
    • A man was crying out to Him for help and there were witnesses hearing his plea
  2. The child had lived 12 short years, the woman had been dying for 12 long years
  3. Jesus heard the cry of the father audibly; He felt the touch of the woman physically

The one thing these two people had in common was the faith connection. The father was bold and confident so he spoke to Jesus. The woman was weak and afraid so her cry was silent. They both believed in His power to heal. That is the connection I will be taking into surgery with me. I’m no more important than any other patient. I don’t have decades of life ahead of me. But I know my God doesn’t care. He cares that I trust Him.

Therefore, as they wheel me down the hall to surgery, one arm will be attached to the IV that gives all I need to medically make it through surgery and heal. The other arm will be firmly attached to the hem of His garment that gives all I need to spiritually survive and heal.

I’m double covered and for that I am thankful.

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119:50

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