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Pre-Surgery Blues

The Guideposts executive editor shares his faith before a surgery.

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It looks like I have to go back to the hospital for some surgery next week. Except they don’t call it surgery, they call it a “procedure” (where do they come up with these words?). I would be lying if I didn’t tell you the prospect makes me anxious. 

Just today when I went to the hospital for pre-admittance testing, I could feel the old fears resurface. It was more than a year ago that I was wandering the same halls, sitting in the same waiting rooms, getting tested by the same nurses before open-heart surgery. This “procedure” isn’t going to be anything near as serious as that. In fact, they tell me I’ll be able to go home at the end of the day. Sounds good to me.

But why do the fears resurface? Why did a mere sign that said “anesthesia” make me tremble?

I think it’s the fear that in the midst of surgery—or a “procedure”—I’m going to lose God somehow. I’m going to go to some dark place that he can’t reach. I remember during one of the dark days of recovering from the big surgery, tossing in my hospital bed well after midnight and feeling somehow abandoned. “Rick, you’re in a dark place,” I told myself.

Then it occurred to me that there is no dark place that God can’t touch. There is no dark crevice where the human mind can tumble and not be reached by God. He’s seen it all. He’s been there before.

I hope that’s comforting to you. It is to me. If you’re feeling lonely, abandoned, frightened, in a dark place, let me pray with you. We’re not alone. Not at all.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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