I'm glad I didn't hear it until after last week's shoulder replacement surgery.
The student nurse told me, "I've seen just about every kind of surgery there is. Except for the one I don't ever want to see." Turns out it's the very kind of operation I just had!
I asked why. I will not soon forget her answer. "Because power tools belong in the workshop, not the operating room!"
Yup, they use power tools in procedures like shoulder and hip replacements. It was not a total surprise.
This was actually my second surgery of its kind due to complications from the first one. So I remember my raised eyebrows as I read my doctor's official narrative of the first time. With words like "saw" and "hammer" and "file"!
Actually, my doctor had explained to me the challenges of dealing with bone and calcified materials as they access, remove and replace. At points, it actually requires the use of power tools! "This surgery is brought to you today by Black & Decker."
All while I am happily dreaming away in anesthesia la-la land. If I ever need a similar surgery, I'm going to ask if my doctor has to get a building permit first!
The simple fact is that there are certain surgeries that are so tough that they actually require power tools.
A reality that heaven's Master Surgeon knows all too well. As He continues His lifetime work of making me all He created me to be. Which sometimes requires removing spiritually diseased qualities or attitudes in me. Or fixing broken parts of me that I've left broken because I didn't want the pain of dealing with them. Or getting me to face His diagnosis of the crippling, ultimately life-threatening sin that I don't want to change.
Sadly, we are rebels at heart. When God's ways mean we have to let go of a relationship, a pleasure, a plan or a goal we love, we harden our heart and turn up our headphones.
Dr. Jesus knows the hurtful, even deadly, outcomes that await us if we just go on untreated. He loves us too much to not operate.
That's when He reaches for the power tools. To get through where nothing else has. He's used a wide variety of them on this stubborn, self-willed patient. An accident. A betrayal. The collapse of my plans. No money. A family crisis.
Because sometimes I won't let God be God until there's something I can't fix. Or change. Or control.
For Jonah, it took a killer storm. For the great Apostle Paul, being "crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure" (2 Corinthians 1:8). King David said, "My body wasted away...Day and night Your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat."
Finally, the Great Surgeon broke through. "Finally, I confessed all my sins to You…I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.' And You forgave me! All my guilt is gone" (Psalm 32:3-5 NLT).
My shoulder surgeon uses his power tools only when there's no other way to get through. Not because he wants to hurt me. But because he wants to heal me.
Just like Dr. Jesus.