How you prepare for surgery depends on who you are.
If you are the patient you can stay up relatively late. Of course you can’t eat after midnight and you must arrive on time. You may or may not be nervous depending on the procedure. You are more receptive and aware of people praying for you than normal. You’re going to be asked your name, date of birth, and what procedures you are having multiple times. You’ll wear a drafty gown. It will be annoying. Finally you will have a needle inserted in your arm with medication to prepare you for the surgery. Then a cool ride in the bed through the halls to the surgical room. Eventually they’ll ask you to count down from one hundred and you will be asleep until the procedure is over. You’ll wake up groggy and sore.
If you’re the surgeon you review your plan of operation for the next day and go to bed early. You must be physically and mentally sharp to avoid mistakes. You assemble your team, tools and environment. You take the skills and experience to bring healing and relief to the patient. When you are finished you will step away knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life. And you’ll begin the cycle anew.
If you are family and friends you bring stuff to do while in the waiting room while the surgery is taking place. You might bring a book but probably won’t remember what you read. If you knit you will probably have to redo part of your work. You will probably pray for a successful surgery and for time to move quickly. If you are fortunate you will have people who join you while you wait. You will probably see a rerun or a talk show on a small TV that provides background noise. You will see other families waiting for results for their loved ones.
In the midst of this God is here. He’s not surprised that you are having surgery. He is with you. God has gifted and prepared this surgeon with the skills and temperament necessary for success. In the waiting room God’s presence can be felt by those who are waiting for the results.
Today, I am the patient. Somewhere around noon I will take that ride to the surgical arena for a neck fusion at c6-7 and c5-6. But I am confident that God will be present with me, that he will bless the skills of the surgeon, and bring comfort to my family while they wait.