ZEBRA IN A HERD OF HORSES
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry
it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
Have you ever been called weird? Different? Strange? Out there?
Well, I have, and many times throughout my life. In fact, I was called that this week by Coach.
Let me explain.
I needed to have oral surgery but I had had trouble with lidocaine so my surgeon highly encouraged me to do allergy testing on lidocaine – turns out I’m actually deathly allergic to it, so it’s out for me. After another round of testing with 2 different options and we were able to narrow it down to 1. Not great odds, but at least I have one option. So, we proceeded with the surgery.
The surgery went fine, and I am a week out, still on soft foods and the large bruise is waning, and I am not on the all-day dosage of Advil. So, things are looking up. However, there was an unusual outcome of this surgery.
Two weeks ago Coach had told me that I needed to look into finding a doctor who would be willing to inject vivecaine (what I can use instead of lidocaine) into my feet because my nerves are misfiring and causing me grief. He also said that constant pain does begin to break down a certain area of our brain because of the barrage of continual trauma and that I needed to address this. Not welcome news by any means.
Two days after the surgery (a week ago today) I asked Coach if it could be possible that the vivecaine shot into my mouth could travel down to help my feet. He enthusiastically said, “YES!” I replied, “Yippee skippy!”
I went to see Coach on Wednesday of this week, and he brought up this very unusual phenomenon coupled with the zebra comment and the strange one too. Adding that God can use very unlikely resources to answer prayer. And that he would not want to limit God in what He chooses to do or use.
Medically it does not make sense for this to happen, but since I am that zebra, my body does operate and handle things very differently. Very agonizingly different. This vivecaine in my blood stream was enough to restart my nerves in my feet and force them to calm down.
Turns out that when one has a cast, it will take twice as long as the duration of cast time to fully recover the use/nerve damage of the affected limb/area. I had casts on my feet (well, straps, tape, boots, etc.) for over a year, so with this equation, it will take at least 2 years. Not pretty and very discouraging.
Does God work in mysterious ways? Yes. Is He still at work in me? Will He complete the work in His time? Will He use whatever means He wants to fashion, correct, mold, create, work and do good in me? Yes. Do His ways always make sense? No.
I made a comment to Coach that being called strange is not always pleasant because conformity is stamped on us from society ALL the time. His comment: "normal, someone who conforms to others, and someone who is blends into the crowd; well is bland."
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
Transformation is metamorphosis. It is changing from one thing into another and staying that way. Have you ever seen a butterfly change back into a caterpillar? It doesn’t happen that way. Conforming is to pattern one’s self according to the world’s standards – ever-changing, ever-moving away from the things of God. And I believe it’s so ambiguous that the change may stick for one day before it is no longer acceptable and the need to conform is considered necessary yet again. Exhausting, actually.
God’s ways are higher than our ways, and He does not think or act like we do. That is why He is God. He is good and does what is good (Psalm 119:68) for our good (Romans 8:28). He is working in us to make us more like His Son and He wants us to seek transformation not conformation.
If in doing so I am a zebra, so be it. My body seems to be in sync with this, so why not my whole life? I want my life to be a reflection of the work God is doing in me – His saving grace, His perfecting faith, His amazing love, His filling of the Holy Spirit. And He is using this entire process with my feet to do a good sanctifying work.
Even if I am called strange and may in fact feel strange in this refining process, I can trust that God is indeed working in my life and using the story He is writing with my life for His glory.
Abba Daddy, You are indeed good. I thank You for working in my life and using all aspects of it for Your glory. I do give You myself again and I am ok with being strange, because in all actuality, I am transforming more and more into Your image Jesus. And that is Your good work in me. AMEN