New Year's Day was a bit different for me this year. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted, so I stayed in my pajamas all day. My husband turned on the television and we were intrigued by a show called Botched. Maybe you're familiar with it? If not, here's the synopsis:
We binge watched back-to-back episodes all day. Literally, for many hours we were glued to the show!
Some patients had made poor choices to alter their bodies, and some doctors weren't even licensed to perform surgery! There were cases of failed breast augmentation or reduction, tummy tucks, face lifts, nose jobs, and many other procedures. Some procedures resulted in severe - even life threatening - infections. A few cases were extreme and a handful were downright bazaar, such as the young woman who underwent numerous surgeries on every part of her body in various countries because she wanted to be a live cartoon character. (I don't know what else to say about that one!)
Then there were cases in which patients were left with scars or deformities that were not due to poor choices but to illness or injury (circumstances they did not choose). For instance, one patient had undergone multiple surgeries as a young boy to remove a cancerous tumor. He was left with a severe deformity. Not only was it visibly obvious but he also suffered from discomfort and pain. After the surgeons explained the complicated and risky surgery that would be required to repair his deformity, the patient elected not to proceed, at least not at this time.
Another patient explained that three years earlier he had crashed his motor bike and suffered a life-threatening head injury. Of course the priority in the emergency room was to save his life, so the ER doctor stitched the gash in his forehead and ordered a CT scan. After many weeks of recovery from his head trauma, the wound healed and he was left with an unsightly scar. The large, wide scar ran vertically down the left side of his forehead from his hairline to his eyelid, giving him the appearance of not two, but three eyebrows. When his one-year-old daughter began pointing to his head, he decided to visit the renowned surgeons. They agreed to take on his complex case. Several weeks prior to the corrective surgery, they inserted tissue expanders (plastic-like sacs) under the skin in his forehead. They gradually increased the expanders by injecting fluid into the sacs once a week. The expanded tissue would be needed in that area to ensure a good outcome. This new "deformity" looked just as bad - if not worse - than the original scar, but this process was necessary and temporary. Once the expanders were removed, the corrective surgery was performed, and recovery began. Several weeks later, the original scar was barely, if at all, noticeable. And...he had two eyebrows again! His transformation was successful.
As I observed episode after episode of this show and later reflected on all I had seen, I pondered several areas of my life that appear botched to me. Like the patients in the show, my scars and festering wounds are a mix of poor choices I've made and circumstances beyond my control. Although I have physical scars from numerous surgical excisions due to melanoma, I'm thinking more about the non-physical scars. These disfigured areas include broken relationships, unfortunate career moves, less than optimal health, financial debt, unmet expectations, and so on.
The good news is that each of these botched areas - and more important, life in general - can be corrected, improved, and made beautiful again. We will never be perfect but we can be repaired. There is only one Physician who can restore our broken pieces and heal our wounds on any day, at any time, and it costs us nothing!
The book of Joel tells of a plague of locusts which is followed by a severe famine in the land of Judah. Joel warns the people to repent or enemy armies will devour the land next. He pleads with the people to humble themselves and ask for God's forgiveness. If they agree, the land will be renewed and the people will be blessed. But if they don't, the day will come when God's judgment will be far worse than the plague and famine.
Maybe you have felt a bit botched as well. You're in need of a makeover. Or you have physical or emotional wounds that need healing. Let's start the year off right by having some repair work done. Let's humble ourselves and ask our Healer and Physician to restore what is broken in us.