“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them…”
Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV)
“Nurse I want you to witness history. Go to theatre now and see the first caesarean section carried out by epidural anaesthesia in Scotland.” I realised this was a tremendous honour and rushed to prepare for theatre. I do not know why the sister in charge gave me this opportunity; there was no time to think, just be there and learn. I stood at the back of the operating room; the room was filled with observers keen to behold this important surgery. The patient was a lady doctor who had volunteered to be the ‘guinea pig’. Within minutes a little girl was born with lusty shrieks, the surgeon holding her high for all to see. The room filled with jubilation, everyone present knew the ramifications and enormous benefits of using less anaesthesia on the patient – this was historic.
That experience, I regret to say, happened many decades ago, but the impact on me as a young staff nurse has stayed with me. Having witnessed the skill of surgeons many times I am still a little in awe of their adroit competence. Though as a Christian when confronted by human skill in whatever capacity, I give God praise for the gift.
Surgery is mentioned in the Bible—a spiritual surgery, an act that no man can ever achieve, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. Romans 2:29 speaks of a spiritual circumcision: “No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.”
Man has learned how to transplant hearts, though the most skilled cardiac surgeon would readily admit to the complexity of such work. The Holy Spirit changes the heart and thus the person, from a self-seeking individual to a Christ- like person who strives to follow his/her Saviour. In Ezekiel 11:19 God says, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
How great is our God that He alone changes hearts? Through His love this world will be changed—forever. All those years ago I was privileged to be in that operating theatre that day, but you and I as followers of Jesus Christ can witness the circumcision of hearts and rejoice over the miracle always!
Loving Father, thank you for not just being our Creator, but the One who changes us from our old selves to being your children. Thank you for this new heart and help us to open it to our fellow man and show him – You
Study by Irene Wilson
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
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