The Doctor Said WHAT?

Surely, she didn’t just drop that word. I mean, did she take a look at me first?

Propped up on my side in a hospital gown, I had multiple leads strapped to my chest, an iv poking out of my arm, a blood pressure cuff clamped around my bicep, a pulse monitor clothes-pinned over my finger, oxygen tubing stretched from my nostrils over my head. Oh, and to top it off, an awkward cylindrical gadget the size of a cup stuck in my mouth to hold it open so you can thrust a scope down my throat. And you want me to relax? Seriously? That’s the word you choose right now?

But then I heard another string of words. Magical words. From behind me, the anesthesiologist said, “Got a few cocktails coming your way.” She’d already informed me the anesthesia would be swift and powerful. I was ready. Bring. It. On.

Next thing I knew, my eyes fluttered open in the recovery room. The procedure had passed. I’d survived the test. The doctor popped her head in. As soon as I saw her reassuring smile, I wondered why I had worried at all. I was in good hands—not only skilled, but trustworthy hands.

As I lay there, listening to noises in the background, I started to think about how much life feels this way sometimes. God says, “Relax.” And I immediately retort, “Really? Have you taken a look at my life lately? I’ve got this problem needling into my plans. This pressure constricting my hope. This worry adhered to my heart. This fear squelching my joy. And you want me to feel at ease? You’ve got to be kidding.”

Then the Spirit ushers in those sweet cocktails of peace:

I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.

That doesn’t mean I get to bypass the test. The Doctor has already prescribed it as necessary for my good. But it does mean I don’t have to fear. I can face all those uncomfortable pressures coming at me because I know I’m in good hands.

They’re the same hands that knit me in the womb and inscribed dreams on my heart. The same ones that have held me in moments of brokenness and have healed me. The same ones that have been faithful to provide my every need.

It’s these very hands that hold the surgical instruments before me now. And as I breathe in the promises of peace, I lean back on the operating table of life and whisper His words to my heart, “Relax.” 


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