Pain has always been an effective minister of the Lord's Grace to me. A 10 month bout with severe pain to the point I bowed before the Lord in willingness if it was His Will to take me home. He chose to leave me on the earth a bit longer, but I was a far different man. Gone was the doctrinaire guy ready to slay heretical dragons. My Beautiful Jesus became my focus. I can't point to any great spiritual insights gained, only a simpler faith that learned to cleave to the Throne of Grace and my Great High Priest.
This time, the Lord chose to reduce me to the basic elements of human life. Pardon my earthiness, but when life is defined only by pooping & peeing & breathing, all things become plain & simple. Food wasn't even in the mix as I had little appetite for a week. The day after surgery, I woke up with a children's chorus going through my mind. "God is Good to me, God is Good to me; He holds my hand He helps me stand; God is Good to me." And for 4 days in ICU, my Beautiful, Sustaining Jesus was my Feast!!! No TV, praise God! TV is the analgesic of choice in 95% of hospital rooms & nursing homes & people had a hard time with the fact that I didn't want it on.
But here is the real benefit. I had grown complacent, careless in my soul. No, nothing outlandish, just a fleshly contentment that has no place in the walk in the Spirit. I wasn't vigilant to the occasions to the flesh that I encountered. I had lost my desperation after the Heart of God!!! My heart of hearts, the spiritual core of my being had the calcium of contentment scraped off of it. The scalpel of the Word exposed and then opened up some new pathways that the Blood of Jesus could cleanse some places of fleshly complacency. I went into the operation with the utmost confidence and actually prayer, that the Lord would work mightily in me. Now as I recover physical strength, I seek His Face to continue the work of simplifying & strengthening my Walk in the Spirit! I wish to bear anew the Mark of New Covenant Believers: We worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Jesus Christ, & HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH!!! Philippians 3:3