“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword”
Today, our three oldest kids had their Tonsils removed. After a continuous bout of Strep and Tonsillitis, our physician recommended it was time to take the tonsils. It was a relatively easy experience for the kids, no tears, twenty minutes in the O.R., then popsicles and rest in front of the couch. Looking at my three year old, you’d never know he had surgery this morning – someone needs to tell him he’s supposed to not feel good.
The whole ordeal got me thinking about how our bodies work. I had my Appendix removed when I was in 4th grade, my Tonsils out in 5th – all of my unnecessary organs are now gone. I am sure that at one time these organs served an important function, and some doctors will argue that they still do. I have read a little research that suggests that the Tonsils may have had more benefit to the body before the more modern viruses and infections we face today emerged. The appendix, some suggest, helps regulate bacteria in the colon, maintaining good colon health.
The problem with both the tonsils and the appendix is that these organs which were supposed to help fight infections and keep us healthy, can often times become infected themselves and make us even sicker. It was the first day of 4th grade when I developed appendicitis. I told my mom I didn’t want to go to school, she thought I was faking (and 99% of the time she was right). But after throwing up on my brother convinced her I was sick, I stayed home from school, and finally went to the hospital that evening. My appendix had become so inflamed and infected with harmful bacteria it had to be removed. The tonsils themselves have tiny pockets called “crypts” which can often harbor bacteria that can develop into infections and cause sore throats (and very bad breath).
I am sure that the tonsils and appendix have a greater purpose in God’s ultimate design for our bodies. But as with everything else, even these insignificant organs, designed to keep us healthy, have been corrupted by sin and thwarted from their good purpose. Meant to fight infection, often they end up harboring infection and causing the sickness to spread.
Do you see this happen in other areas of your life? God has created a world of pleasures that are meant to bring us joy and lift our eyes to him. But in our fallen state, our eyes become fixed on the gifts rather than the Giver, and what was meant to bring us joy only end up causing us pain. We turn the freedom that God has given us in Christ into a license to sin. We abuse the dominion that God has given us and pollute our environment. We see the enormous wealth we have and dream of getting more, while others suffer in need. The gifts we’ve been given so often become a cancer in our relationship with God and with one another.
As my children had to undergo surgery this morning to remove the source of their continued infection, each of us must come under the corrective touch of our heavenly Father, the Great Physician. Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Because our sinful nature goes to the very core of our existence, we require the painful cut of the Physician’s “scalpel” to remove the corruption and infection in our lives. It is a painful process, being weaned from sin, because it has been a part of us for so long. But blessing that comes from the cleansing and restoring power of God’s Word in our lives is well worth the cost.
Well, time to take of the pastor’s hat and put the nurse’s hat back on…