“You’re going to have to make me because I don’t want to.”
“Really? She giggled and flipped her blonde, shoulder length hair out of her eyes. Ok, then. Sherry, as your doctor I am ordering you to call the specialist and make the appointment.”
“Uh yeah, I’ll get right on that.” Just as soon as I stick an ice pick through my eye.
Although my latest surgery was only about a month ago the both of us are feeling pretty discouraged at the moment. “It’s almost like we’re taking one step forward and two steps back, isn’t it? I would have hoped that after this last operation you would have less pain.”
“Me too, Doc. It is what it is. The good news is that I am feeling better than I was the last time I saw you so progress is being made. I’m going to be just fine.” Only inside I didn’t feel like it. Inside I wanted to cry.
As I discussed the conversation with my husband later that night I realized something. One step forward is still progress, even if I am taking two steps back. Years ago when I was in counseling, a woman told me something I will never forget. She said that the longer it takes to heal, the faster you recover. In other words, the more time you spend digging out the bad stuff from your life, the faster you make room for good stuff to take its place.
Sin is just like this nasty disease I’m fighting. It grows in places it has no business growing and causes endless, needless suffering. As soon as I find an area that requires attention and get it cleaned out, there is another one in its place. The process is painful and excruciatingly slow. Praise God, it is a process! Good work is being accomplished in spite of the challenges. I might take two steps backward but so what? I am moving forward. I am getting somewhere! Best of all, I am learning from the difficulties. Paul seemed to understand this process very well when he penned the words in Philippians 1:6. Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. God is not finished with me yet and that’s ok. I can take comfort knowing that this painful process is producing growth. Every time I go through another surgery I learn more about myself and my disease. In the same way, every time I miss the mark in my Christian walk, I learn a little more about my enemy (me) and my God. I become empowered because I am learning how to fight back.
Recovery from anything can be especially discouraging when we don’t see the results we’re looking for. The good news is that it is called recovery for a reason. We are reclaiming, retrieving, and regaining everything the enemy has stolen from us even if it is only one tiny, minuscule step at a time. I would rather be moving at a snail’s pace than not moving at all. Wouldn’t you?