A big, stocky guy pulled a sharp blade, slashed a three-inch gash in me, and made off with a bunch of my money. I appreciate what he did; he’s my surgeon.
A large number of Americans apparently would agree that a surgeon’s knife is a good thing. Approximately 80 million of us per year not only submit to being cut, but we pay somebody to slice us.
Why? It’s certainly not because surgery is a pleasant experience. Nobody enjoys it, and it certainly isn’t inexpensive. So, why do we do it? Because it is good for us; we know we need it. We endure the pain because we know that, long-term, it will relieve pain, or improve our quality of life, or maybe even prolong life.
No, I’m not promoting surgery. Well, at least not the physical kind. I am, however, promoting spiritual surgery. There is a great physician who holds a blade “sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). This blade, “the word of God, is living and active . . . it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Yes, that sounds painful, and sometimes it is. Perhaps that’s why so many shy from it. While 65% of Americans believe that the Bible answers all or most of the basic questions of life, only 16% read it daily. While 75% of us say we are somewhat or very interested in deepening our understanding of the Bible, only 39% read from it weekly. Only about a third of us go to church weekly where we might at least hear someone else read from the Bible.
Surgery can be a very helpful, healing experience. We have an amazing health care system capable of astounding procedures to repair the human body. But it’s useless to me if I refuse to go under the knife.
In the same way, the word of God heals the sickest human souls. It turns the darkest human hearts to the light. But it can do nothing unless its blade is allowed to operate.
A big guy cut my finger open to help me get better. One even bigger and far more skilled wants to lay open my heart - and yours, to heal it of its deadly impurities. He longs to make us whole and healthy and his.