The Holy Head Slap

It was a Holy Spirit head slap ala Gibbs to DiNozzo on NCIS.  Well, it had the same effect minus the pain.  Instantly, I understood what I’d missed all along.

In my mind, I had been rehashing a recent conversation with friends in which Tom and I told of his upcoming kidney stone procedure following many frustrating months of tests and procedures.  Even including the removal of his gall bladder.  As I considered the banter, I heard us bemoaning the loss of a good gall bladder, as we had done many times before.  Next thing I knew, I was the beneficiary (and I do mean that) of a holy head slap.


In that instant, I remembered Tom and I praying specifically before his appointment with the surgeon last fall for clarity in our decision.  The gastroenterologist recommended surgical removal of his gall bladder, despite only finding two small polyps in the course of numerous tests.  The surgeon studied all test results and examined Tom before agreeing with the referring doctor.  The additional perspective she added settled us both.  Though not yet severe, those polyps indicated a diseased gall bladder.  His otherwise healthy condition at this time would make the surgery easier now.

We left the office certain surgery was the answer.  Our misguided understanding of the result of that answer brought much confusion in the months to come, however.  We expected elimination of the painful episodes by removing the gall bladder.  How wrong were our expectations!

Many months following Tom’s surgery included many more excruciating episodes of pain, just like before.  Was that an oops on the doctors’ part?  The longer it went on, the more we thought so, even becoming fixed in our minds as an unnecessary surgery.

After the worst episode in these eight months, Tom prepared for the medical sleuthing process again.  We both prayed for the source of the pain to be clear and the remedy relatively easy.  Within days, a large kidney stone was discovered, and a shockwave treatment to break it up was scheduled.  Prayer answered as asked, and we were thankful!

The bad attitude about the unnecessary surgery remained.  Until, that is, Holy Spirit reminded me of our prayers.  We had asked both times for clarity.  The first time, we felt surgery was the answer.  Maybe our expectation was the only wrong part of the equation.  We looked for an end to Tom’s painful episodes via the surgery we felt the Spirit was leading us to do.  Maybe Holy Spirit knew something else none of us could see or even know, at this point, that was best handled immediately.  Maybe it was something else.

Because our natural minds want to be in charge, we complain when we don’t understand what we thought was to happen, what we thought the answer to our prayer indicated.  But peace is found in trusting the Lord, Whose understanding is far superior.  Period.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

Too many times I have groused and complained when things didn’t go according to my understanding, especially when I thought I was in the Lord’s will.  When I simply trust God with all my heart, resting in His knowing the end from the beginning and every step in between, the peace of Christ Jesus is restored.  Since I’d rather live that way, even when it’s contrary to my understanding, I’ll gladly receive a holy head slap to remind me!