Today, I feel compelled to share a devotional message I received from a friend. Michelle didn't write this for publication, but just wanted to share how God is blessing her through what some might consider a tragedy in her son's life. She has graciously agreed to permit sharing so that you too may be blessed. Here is her account of her son A.J. receiving a workable thumb:
My son A.J. recently underwent surgery to give him a workable thumb. Last week, the cast came off, and we got our very first view of A.J.'s new thumb. The entire experience was absolutely incredible, and his new thumb quite literally moved me to tears. I wanted to share with you today the before and after pictures of our superhero's hand, because God has been using A.J.'s hand in powerful ways to speak into MY life.
Like A.J.'s hand before surgery, I, too, have some things on my hands and in my life that are just not very efficient, effective or useful, and that frankly hamper my function and my spiritual growth. Like A.J.'s former thumb, some of them are not intrinsically BAD things—but they ARE things that keep me from being as effective as I could be in this mission Jesus has given me on earth.
However, these not fully formed stubs, these hindrances, are FAMILIAR. They're what I know. They've always been there. Some of them I've accepted as "personality traits." They allow my hands to work GOOD ENOUGH. So part of me doesn't care that these stubs might hinder me from God's best, because sometimes in this busy life, I get complacent—on those days, "good enough" is good enough for me.
The thing is, our Great Physician, like A.J.'s surgeon, isn't okay with "good enough." He doesn't do hampered function—He knows we were created for more than that. So He asks us to put our lame fingers, our non-functioning stubs, our hanging digits that work “good enough,” in His perfect hands to perform surgery.
The God who makes the blind to see and the lame to walk can take even our stubs and not fully formed fingers and transform good enough into GREAT FOR HIS GLORY.
In the second picture, A.J. now has an opposable appendage on his right hand for the first time in his life. For the first time ever, he will be able to use scissors, open jars, ride a bike, and pull up his own pants with two hands. Don't get me wrong—this determined, resilient superhero figured out alternate methods to complete all these tasks before. But what used to take him several minutes using a scissor-like motion with his second and third fingers, with an opposable thumb, will now take him seconds.
Yet A.J. never even realized how much better his function could be until he put his trust in a surgeon to perform the operation. Had his surgeon not requested to perform surgery, A.J. would have been happy to live his life with a not fully functioning hand. He would have never known the beauty of an opposable thumb.
Jesus has been challenging me to give Him the opportunity to perform surgery to amputate some of these lame digits in my life. He wants to transform my "good enough" into His "great" for His glory. Because it's only with an opposable appendage that I will fully and literally be able to grab hold of everything He has for me.
Are there any "stubs" in your life? Areas of your life that might not be intrinsically bad but are holding you back from the kind of function and effectiveness God has for you in His kingdom's work? If you never allow our awesome God to perform surgery and execute some amputations, you may never know the beauty of a fully functioning hand or life.
So who wants to join Michelle for surgery?