Romans 6:10 For the death he died, he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
The cleverness and creativity of the Holy Spirit amazes and surprises me. The Spirit does His greatest work in me through exposing my weaknesses. The Spirit's interceding through our weaknesses is expressed in Romans 8:26: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." My little writing describes a huge work of the Spirit using a bed pan to deaden sin in my heart and fill me with life and love.
The six weeks that I've been in the hospital is not my first surgery. It is too embarrassing to share how many surgeries and hospital stays I have had throughout my life. But since I was a child, adolescent or adult, I have dreaded the "bed pan" and have taken pride in the fact that I have never had to use one. Well, during this hospital stay my "luck ran out" and "God's love ran through me." His love killed a bit of the sin that is in my heart.
Six days without a bowel movement and I'm stuck in bed. After my extensive skin graft I was on "bed arrest" and was feeling miserable. My precious nurse, Rachel sits down beside and with a tender smile asks, "Well, Mike what are we going to do? Its up to you." I whispered, "You're the boss." She orders a suppository and yes...the dreaded bed pan.
This simple plan released the chaos within me. Feelings of fear, anxiety, shame, dread, self disgust and anger swirled inside. I'm a 60 year old man and why am I more troubled using a bed pan than going through 6 surgeries in 4 weeks? I don't have a normal sense of fear. Very few life situations arise fear within me. But facing the bed pan provoked unpredictable fear and anxiety.
The confusion of my weakness directed me to seek help from the Spirit. The Spirit interceded in my weakness even though I didn’t know how to pray. I asked the Holy Spirit to give me understanding as to why I was so crazy and what do I need to do to get control of myself. From inside a deep place within, the Spirit clearly and calmly directed me to pray for God’s “help” rather than to give me understanding.
As I prayed, “God help me.”, the Spirit began to expose sin within my heart of pride, independence, a need to be in control, a refusal to embrace my vulnerability and neediness. As Roman’s 6:11 presents, “must consider yourselves dead to sin must consider yourselves dead to sin.” My real problem was sin and Jesus wanted it dead. As the Spirit confronted my sin and convicted my heart, I experienced the comforting and Convicting Of the presence of our Father’s love and my companionship with His Son, Jesus. My Lord and friend.
Upon repenting of my independent heart and self-absorption, A special part of my heart came alive. As Romans teaches, “and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
My repentance began opening the “eyes of my heart” and I clearly realized that my real problem was my sin that was separating my dependence upon Christ alone and the “Bed Pan” issues faded away. Jesus did not explain all that was behind my craziest but He did clearly expose I was not “alive to God. As the love of God began to marinade my sinful heart, these truths became convictions:
1.) I began to taste being “alive to God in Christ” rather than my independence and demand for Control.
2.) I saw the female nurses who were going to help me as blessings of God to help me and I need help.
3. Instead of demanding control, I made myself vulnerable and expressed to the nurses that I was struggling with the bed pan and needing to clean my bottom.
4.) The nurses became my friends to help me not foes to hurt me.
5. While we were going through the process of BM, I felt a sense of overwhelming gratitude and thankfulness for the women and I told them.
6.) Being vulnerable, transparent and embracing my neediness flooded my heart with life and love.
I shared with the nurses that the bed pan thing brought a lot of crazy confusion. They both shared that they knew this from the change of my presence and were so happy for me with my response. I told them I really prayed to God to help me and to keep me from hurting their hearts.
Over the next few days, Spirit gave me opportunities to minister to them
All of us have things like Bed Pan issues and the Come into our lives in different ways. Health, relationships, money, addictions, etc. Instead of demanding God to take away your bed Pan, how about asking the Spirit to help you identify sin in your heart to repent of rather than relief from your "dreaded bed pan."