That Was a Little Humbling
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 (NIV)
So, how’d it go? Honestly, it’s been an amazingly smooth experience so far. I was in the hospital at 6AM and the fantastic hospital staff had me home by mid-afternoon. After surgery, I got a long-lasting anesthetic knee block, which means that just my knee will be numb for a day or two. I’ve been able to walk and I’m ecstatic to be home, without much pain. And – this is huge – it was all done without putting any opioids in my brain. I’m profoundly thankful for my hospital staff and I’m deeply thankful for all your prayers.
As I said yesterday, it’s hard to ask for help, but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. Frankly, it was a little humbling when I finally looked at Facebook and saw all your messages last night. That, however, wasn’t the most humbling part of the day . . .
When I arrived at the hospital, I had to put on a gown, which I expected, but it hadn’t occurred to me that they’d take my underwear as well. That was uncomfy as I spent the day exposed to the world. Then, I had a spinal anesthetic administered in my lower back right before surgery, which made everything below that level go numb for hours afterward. The longest lasting effect was on my pelvis. The nurse asked me to get up to use the restroom after surgery, but I simply couldn’t feel my pelvis, so the restroom was a big fail. Then, they asked me if I wanted a diaper. I was missing my underwear, but a diaper didn’t seem like a dignified solution. No. I’m not wearing your diaper. My nurse kindly informed that 75% of patients in my situation experience urinary incontinence. I envisioned wetting myself. Fine, I’ll take the diaper. It wasn’t a good look, but I wore it to both my PT and OT hospital visits. Later, when the spinal wore off, I was finally able to get my underwear, but not my pride, back.
This was all a good reminder for me. I went into this with some apparent concern for my pride and dignity, which, if I wanted my knee fixed, had to be abandoned. My pride simply did nothing to help me. I thought about this all day, and realized it was, in part, my pride that made me hesitant to ask for prayer in the first place. I wrote yesterday that asking for prayer seemed self-serving, which is true. What I failed to mention though, was that I also don’t want people to ever see me as weak or in need. I enjoy admitting fragility about as much as I enjoy wearing a diaper. Stupid pride.
In today’s passage, James said that if we desire God’s blessing on our lives, we must humble ourselves. We must abandon our pride and our need to do everything our way. Only in humbly following God’s way do we experience his will and his blessing. This doesn’t mean that we’ll be rich, successful, and healthy if we follow God. It does mean that the only way we’ll ever find the life, joy, and peace for which we were made is to humbly follow our creator. In our pride, we destroy ourselves. In our humility, God begins to work on us.