Amy and I report at 12pm to Scott and White Hospital (Temple, TX) for her afternoon surgery. The plan is for a full, abdominal hysterectomy. She will be in the hospital 2-4 days, Lord willing.
The Puritans broke evil down into three expressions: the world, flesh and devil (Eph 2.1-3). All of them conspire to disrupt faith and trip the saints. This morning we experience such a conspiracy. Despite God’s overwhelming confirmation through prayer, counsel and your encouragement, we yet buckle under the weight of this life-changing decision. We take comfort that our Lord Jesus wrestled until the 11th hour as well on our behalf (Mt 26.36-44).
David wrote in Ps 25.12, “Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.” Therefore, we wholeheartedly ask that your prayers be specifically this: that the Maxwells fear the Lord. Like the father of a demon-possessed boy, we believe but need help with our unbelief (Mk 9.24).
Pray that our decision be driven by a deep reverence for God and trust in his all-sufficient grace. As our fear of God increases so will the clarity of this God-instructed choice. Pray that we fear God more than surgical complications, a life without biological children, uncertain emotional/psychological effects and the opinions of men. You see, it’s not making the wrong decision that we fear. We fear making a decision that is not by faith in and fear of our Sovereign and Good God. Pray that Jesus be more glorious to us than the most precious gifts of this life. Pray that we see this experience through the biblical lens of creation, fall, redemption and new creation, not pain and hopelessness.
I hope to preach soon on some of the things God is teaching us in this. God has designed this so that Amy, Lidi and I will worship Jesus more, hate our sin more, and long for the next life more. He’s also designed it to serve God’s people (2 Cor 1.5-7). Therefore, we hope to be stewards of this grace. No experience (whether painful or joyous, trivial or monumental) in the Christian life is to be hoarded, but to be shared for the benefit of the church (Rom 12.15; 15.2-3; Gal 6.2).
In the end, brothers and sisters, this is not ultimately about a hysterectomy any more than cancer is ultimately about cancer or fertility is ultimately about children. Ultimately, it’s all about worship, both ours and yours.
Too often we turn to Job to find a kindred spirit in suffering. But the climax of Job’s story was not how much he suffered. It was about how much he worshipped (Job 1.20-21; 2.10; 42.1-6)! Only when we are led to the greatness and beauty of God does our suffering make sense.
Help us worship today, brethren.