Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TRUST (07/21/16)
- TITLE: Chaos -- or is it?
By Dave Walker
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Slowly and methodically he began. The little muscles of the lip were pulled together. The jutting corner of skin that looked so out of place was tucked neatly behind the ala of the nose, bringing it forward, in line with the other side. A triangle of skin was released from its place across the cheek where the skin hook had held it, and miraculously fitted perfectly into the triangle created when the tag was tucked behind the ala. And that made a triangle into which an opposing wedge fitted. Pulling the muscles together had drawn the lip into fullness and more tiny stitches formed a perfect little M at the lip beneath the nose. The mouth, previously marred by the ugly empty gash of a cleft before surgery, was a perfect little rosebud.
I have never tired of watching a plastic surgeon repair a cleft lip: The complexity of skin cuts which make no sense to someone not skilled in reconstructive surgery seem chaotic. The digging deep into the flesh to find the muscles on each side of the cleft which, if not sewn together, would pull the whole repair apart, seems cruel. And then the surgeon, with superb skill, slowly and meticulously makes something beautiful and normal out of an ugly defect; something so much more the way God intended it to be.
I have often wondered how the child’s mother would react if, without understanding what the surgeon was doing, she saw her child midway through the operation. Would she cry out in dismay and snatch her child away if she could? Would her child then remain with a horribly deformed lip while the mother told everyone what a terrible person the surgeon was, citing her child’s lip, now terribly scarred, as evidence? Would she be deaf to the surgeon’s deep sighing, “If only she’d have trusted me to finish.”?
Fortunately, that never happens. The mother has entrusted her child to the doctor and patiently awaits the amazing result of the surgery.
Yet, I wonder how often we do that with God? Just as the surgeon carefully cuts and dissects, laying everything open with planned precision in order to fashion a deformed mouth the way God designed it, so God will sometimes take our lives apart to refashion them into something far more beautiful; in line with what He had in mind for us from the start. The cuts and apparent chaos could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, persecution for one’s faith or a hundred and one other traumas. If you trust the Master Surgeon in those circumstances, He’ll use His consummate skill to put your life together again more beautifully than it was before; and more in line with what He had planned it to be from the start.
Sadly, some of us snatch our lives away from Him halfway through the operation, turning our backs on Him, complaining of His cruelty and using our broken lives as proof.
When all the time He is saying, “If only he’d have trusted me to finish.”
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