I have been recovering from total bilateral hip replacement the last 3 months. The first month of that was pretty much flat on my back propped up with pillows and staring at the ceiling praying for God to help me or take me. It was quite honestly the most painful thing I’ve ever done to date (and yes, I have 3 children and 2 of those were C-sections). You see, I wasn’t the “standard” joint replacement that the “elderly” receive, but due to a congenital underdevelopment I had other complications and now have screws and cables around my bones. I thought I was prepared for what was to come, I mean….I knew it was going to be painful and looking back I can recall the word PATIENCE in nearly every sentence from my surgeon and briefly recall him saying “a year or more for full recovery” but hey, I’m fairly young, I was told as a child this was coming my way someday, I’m prepared right????? WRONG, BIG FAT WRONG! I HAVE NEVER LEANED ON JESUS MORE THAN I HAVE THE LAST 3 MONTHS. What does this have to do with Ephesians you ask? Don’t worry, I’ll get there!
I have often laughed in my past saying things such as, “God built me with spare parts” and laughed knowing full and well that He makes no mistakes and I was designed just as He meant, intentionally and full of possibilities, plus….had He NOT designed me this way I wouldn’t have this testimony to glorify Him in another season of my life. **enter tears**- disclaimer: I’m still very close to my surgery date and I get very emotional, plus 3 months is early on for a recovery like this so I’m crying already while writing this. My 4 days in the hospital were pretty much medicated with the exception of my 30 minutes twice per day of physical therapy in which the therapist and my husband had to coach me to “give it a try.” Unless Jesus takes it from me, I will NEVER forget the first time I stood up (less than 24 hours after surgery), I even had a blood pressure monitor on because they wanted to measure me in each phase of getting up. I was pretty normal lying down, it shot up when I sat up on the side of the bed, but when I stood up all of my monitors went off and the pain literally made me gasp and took my breath away. My blood pressure went to 210/110 and they immediately sat me back down but they still made me get up (praise God for that) and I continued on until I was discharged home. The first week home is where I really started feeling sorry for myself and had one obstacle after another. The last night before my husband went back to work I couldn’t sleep (which wasn’t unusual at this point because of pain) and I tearfully looked at him and said, “What have I done, why did I choose this, I can’t do it and I’m going to be stuck here.” Pause…**CRYING RIGHT NOW****** My husband looked at me and said, “You are right, YOU can’t, you are going about this all wrong. You already know who can do it and you need to turn it over to Him and leave it there.”
You see in that very valuable advice, I had forgotten my worth in Christ and became very selfish. I turned to Ephesians for a lot of my recovery, remembering who I am IN CHRIST:
- I am chosen by Him Eph. 1:4
- adopted by Him Eph. 1:5
- He has accepted me Eph. 1:6 just as I was in that moment
- I am sealed in Him Eph. 1:13
- He has made an inheritance for me Eph. 1:11-12.
I AM RICH IN CHRIST and that is for eternity and not in the moment. I realized that no matter what I was going through it would never be suffering greater than Jesus did for me and that I wasn’t living for here anyway. I know that Christ would NEVER minimize my pain and that whatever is important to us is important to Him no matter the size, My God is so much bigger but I wasn’t going to the bank and cashing in on the riches I forgot I had in Christ. Dr. Wiersbe references his book as though he is talking about financial riches and value (because I imagine our earthly minds comprehend that). Dr. Wiersbe uses a story of a newspaper publisher named William Randolph Hearst that was so greedy and had the need to own extremely valuable worldly items. He already had so many valuable items that he didn’t even know what he owned, he wasted money sending a representative out to search these items when in fact he already owned these treasures he was searching for. The point was, Mr. Hearst should have “read the bankbook” of his riches. Biblically speaking, we must keep in the Word and learn the Word and know the Word to know just how rich we are, as Dr. Wiersbe would say “cash in on our riches” because that is what God wants from us, to know Him, know His calling, know His riches, and know His power.
I have since gone back to work and am trying to carry this remembrance each day and to stay focused on Him, His calling in my life (especially while at work), my value and His power. I CAN’T do ANYTHING on my own and reality is, I can’t even breathe without Him. The other lesson Jesus reminded me of during my recovery time was a lesson taught often to children in church and that is putting on the full armor of God. Eph. 6:10-24 My epiphany in this adult time in my life is that the full armor of God isn’t just for the outside world but for inside as well. Just because I never left my house for the first month didn’t mean I was exempt from attack, in fact….I was my own worst enemy and felt dark in my own home. The enemy is everywhere and waiting to devour like a lion 1 Peter 5:8. The instance I realized these truths, I felt nothing but peace the rest of my home recovery time.
Since back to somewhat normal life I find myself listening closer to those around me and those I am discipling/counseling, and in listening to them my first question has since become, “do you know what Christ has done for you, do you know your value in Christ, and do you know the unlimited amount of wealth Jesus Christ offers you, and do you know how to get it? If anything, this particular blog is a plea to PLEASE know your value in Christ, know Him and know Him well, and what He paid so we can have a relationship with Him 24 hours/day 7 days/week, know His power, and cash in on the riches He has for your life.