Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’’ Luke 4:23
When my husband and I were visiting Telluride, Colorado, several years ago, we heard the tale of George Balderston, a doctor who removed his own appendix in 1949. A Huff Post article on the Internet says Balderston performed the surgery “to get a first-hand reaction of a patient to local anesthesia…and…to study post-operative effects.” Some old timers in Telluride insist that Balderston was offended when a patient had called him a “butcher,” and completed the self-surgery to prove him wrong. The good doctor reportedly used no mirrors and finished the procedure in forty-five minutes, returning to work after two days. Balderston’s operation is said to be the first and only of its kind in Colorado.
The idea of performing “self-surgery” sounds preposterous to most of us. But we think nothing of becoming impatient with “God’s timing” and snatching our lives back out of His hands when we think we can take care of things better/faster/easier than He can! We as humans constantly want to “fix” things on our own, rather than waiting for God’s good plan to unfold. God gave all of us our talents, from ditch diggers to brain surgeons, and He wants us to use our talents to help make this world a better place. But He also wants us to come to Him for wisdom and guidance in the use of those talents.
I have gone “under the knife” several times in my adult life, and it takes a lot of trust to let somebody cut into your body and perform even a minor procedure! If the surgeon suddenly said, “Here’s the scalpel, Honey, go for it,” I would surely freak out. Thanks be to God that there are men and women who have the skills to take care of us when we need an operation. And thanks be to God that He is always there, unfolding His plans throughout our lives.
Lord, You have been called The Great Physician, and we know that all healing comes through Your hand. Guide us in making wise decisions about our earthly health, and guide those who treat us for the diseases we encounter. Amen