The recent journey I’ve been on is not something I’d like to repeat. Oh the fun of getting ready for my November colonoscopy and then to hear the after news that there was a suspicious polyp that probably needed to be surgically removed. Then the coming home from a wonderful Christmas vacation only to face the knife in surgery wasn’t too pleasant. And the after surgery healing has been very, very painful. No, I’m glad all that is behind me [pun intended].
Yet there is another side to the pain and inconvenience. The polyp that was removed, after several biopsies, proved to have been something that was growing in an unnatural way and most probably would have turned into cancer in the next 4-5 years. Though I have suffered a good bit because of the surgery I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. At least I don’t have to travel the path of a friend whose polyp was already cancerous [therefore undergoing chemo and radiation and now cancer free] or the path my brother Glenn had to take – by the time they found his colon cancer it was in many places in his body and he ended up losing that battle. No, this was caught in plenty of time. I’m certainly a proponent of yearly physicals and scheduled colonoscopies. We need help in knowing what’s going on inside our bodies away from the casual observation. Blood work during a physical in the past has revealed I need help with my good cholesterol [it’s too low] and that my body doesn’t have enough vitamin D. And this recent inconvenient colonoscopy was of enormous help! Don’t ignore your body! But more importantly, don’t ignore your spiritual heart!!
I’m such a novice when it comes to the human body. God’s waking me up more and more to how important it is to take care of it. But friend too many of us are ignoring our spiritual self. Just as I’ve needed outside help [doctors, tests and procedures] to know what is going on inside my body so I need outside help [God] to know the real condition of my heart. Therefore King David wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…See if there is any offensive way [something that is or will lead to spiritual cancer] in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” [Psalm 139:23-24]. Just as David asked God to search him for any sin of omission or commission so we need to allow God to run a diagnostic check on our hearts and minds. When we allow the Lord to do a thorough examination of our motives, perspectives and shortcomings then we are able to grow up in all aspects in Him who is the head, even Christ.
On a frequent basis I pull aside to spend time alone with the Lord – in our empty sanctuary or a Sunday School room, or off to Sloan Park, or in a room at the house when Lucy is out. In fact the Lord showed me 3 pre-cancerous things in my life this morning as we had another “Search me, O God” time together. It was painful to hear Him reveal those things. I don’t feel too good about what He has shown to me. Yet I’ve written them down in my journal and also written down the action steps He has laid out for me to follow [and lead me in the way]. In addition, I have scheduled some action steps in my Day-Timer and am planning on, with His help, cutting out these pre-cancerous cells now before they get bigger and really threaten my spiritual life. It’s going to be painful for some of the actions and certainly require more discipline for the others – but it will be worth it to get rid of that which separates me from intimacy with my Lord.
Just like with my body I had two choices to make 1) Go ahead and give me a colonoscopy to see what is going on inside and 2) Go ahead and go in and cut that pre-cancerous polyp out…so it is with my spiritual life. I need to make the decision to have frequent “Search me, O God” times with the Lord as we together look at my heart. Then I need to make the decision to work with Him to cut out that which is offensive to Him so that it will no longer hinder my walk with Him and my growth in Him.
I can’t tell you how glad I am to have that suspicious polyp out of my body. And I’ll be happy to rid myself of these 3 offensive ways in my spiritual life. Friends, I guarantee you’ll be glad when you ask the Great Physician to search your heart and work with Him to cut out all that is offensive. There’s no better doctor around!
Glad to be His patient – Pastor Steve