The Master Physician

JC

TheDiscipleMD

The pain was excruciating! Perhaps the most pain I have had to endure in my life. It was 1985 and while rounding the bases in a softball game I tore the ligaments in my right ankle. By the end of the evening my ankle had swollen to about five times its normal size. I thought if I packed it in ice, the swelling would go down, but it didn’t. After visiting the doctor I found out it was a serious tear. Getting x-rays was an agonizing event because they had to take pictures of it from different angles. Just moving it from side to side brought great pain. After telling me of the diagnosis, the physician explained to me that I had several options. Option one was to do nothing but wrap the ankle, stay off it was a few weeks and hope for the best. Two- put a cast on it which, meant I would be on crutches for six weeks or three- have the ligament reattached with a staple which would require surgery. This meant I would be in a cast for several months and would have to curtail most of my physical activity for the next six months. I had never had surgery before or since. I didn’t like the idea of someone cutting on my ankle. As a man of only 29 years, the thought of inactivity for six months was almost more than I could bear. Playing sports had been my way of life since back to before I could remember. I sat on the doctor’s table listening to my options. I wanted to just wrap it and hope for the best. I asked the doctor regarding the long-term value of each option. He told me that wrapping it and taking it easy would probably result in getting back 70% use of the ankle. That putting a cast on it would give better results, probably 80-90% recovery of the ankle and that surgery would give me back 95-100% use after full recovery. I remember sitting on that table and contemplating my options. Option one seemed to be the easiest and required less sacrifice but with it came less chance of full recovery, as did option two. In the end I opted for my best chances at “full recovery” by electing to get my ankle cut on. It was not fun, the surgery, the hospital recovery and the length of time that it took to heal from it. But as promised, the ankle recovered 100 percent, and I have never regretted my decision.

Like physical injuries, our emotional and spiritual wounds require a certain amount of sacrifice on our part if we desire total and complete healing. As in physical wounds, time is a great healer. By doing nothing but letting time pass, our infirmities of heart and soul will also slowly recover. But there is limited healing that comes in just the passing of time. The human body has a miraculous way of self-healing, as does the soul. But if we want to have a complete and full recovery, we need to do something. In fact, we are “required” to do something. On several occasions the Savior is quoted as saying that “…they that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17). I think all of us understand that sincere repentance is needed in order to attain a “complete healing” of our souls. It does take effort, and sometimes even the painful acknowledgment to others of our misdeeds. And I think we all understand the steps we need to take in order to feel “restored” to completeness. Some of us hope that the passing of time will restore the peace and tranquility we desire. But my experience, as well as many others, is that true healing only comes when we have gone through the process required by the Lord. And sometimes that requires us to be willing to have “surgery” performed by the Lord on our behalf. He is the master physician who can restore to us all that we have loss through sin and I might add, the sins of others that has been perpetrated on us.

Perhaps the hardest thing to heal from is when someone else, and through no fault of our own, inflicts upon us their sinful behavior. And although we might not be guilty of anything, we suffer the consequences of others actions. The prescription the Lord has given to those who suffer such is the act of forgiveness. To me, giving forgiveness to someone else has never been about making them feel better, although it does. To me it is more about the one who has been offended and the damage and pain that continues to afflict them if they are not able to get rid of their rage and anger. Bitterness, rage and anger are a poison to the soul. I have personally known a number of individuals who have been wronged by their spouses. Years go by, even decades and the offending spouse has repented and moved on with their life. But the offended, innocent partner, is still showing signs of bitterness that continues to affect their ability to find happiness. Often, they have been unwilling to let go of the past!

As we travel through life we all need the healing hand of the Lord in our life. Time can help, but if we truly want to feel “restored” , it will take some effort on our part. We must be willing to allow the Lord to perform “surgery” on our souls. That requires us to have confidence in the master physician’s promises. He has promised full recovery if we do our part! I know His promises are real and true.

 

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