I have been studying Hebrews with some senior girls at Furman for the past few weeks, and today as I was studying Hebrews 4, the Lord just opened up His Word to me in new ways. My heart was so full that I just had to share it! So, Hebrews 4:11-16…
The writer opens up with a command to keep striving, to be diligent so that we will enter into the coming rest of God eternally. But then in v 12-13 he goes on to tell us how we go about doing that. All that came to my mind while reading these verses I have read like a billion times was, the Holy Spirit is like a skilled surgeon with the scalpel of the Holy Spirit. I think the writer is saying that we are diligent, alert, careful to enter into His rest by constantly laying ourselves out, wide open, under the care of the Holy Spirit. It all sounds so medical… He will pierce us, probe us, divide what is right from what is wrong, what is health from what is death, do biopsies on our motivations and thoughts, etc… We will basically be laid open and bare before God, completely seen and naked (v 13). Sounds pretty harsh and hard; we will see our weaknesses, our sins, all the places where our motives and thoughts are crooked and impure (v14)… OUCH. But then the writer who seems to know how uncomfortable and shameful and embarrassing that exposure process/ surgery of the Word will be, spends the next verses (v 15 and 16) comforting us, encouraging us to find hope, strength, confidence, health in the Great High Priest who stands in our stead as our substitute and now our faithful prayer warrior!
All this reminded me of one of my favorite parts of T.S. Eliot poem called Four Quartets.
The wounded surgeon plies the steel / that questions the distempered part / Beneath the bleeding hands we feel / the sharp compassion of the healer’s art / resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
All this leaves me so thankful for the wounded surgeon, searching our souls for death and doing everything needed to bring life and health to our dying hearts! Guess I should go lay myself open before the Word now; results pending (but I definitely will not be sharing them here!)