As for me, I will always have hope . . .
— Psalm 71:14 NIV
This week, I asked a dear friend, who happens to be an author and neurosurgeon, to write the Sunday Entry for us. Allow me to introduce you to Dr. W. Lee Warren . . . I know you’ll enjoy his words.
My twenty-two years as a practicing neurosurgeon, and my ten years as a bereaved father have made the diagnosis exceedingly clear: life is hard, and beautiful, all at once.
This shouldn’t surprise us. Even Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble,” and “I have come that you may have abundant life” (John 16:33, John 10:10).
What then, shall we make of the seeming contradiction? How can we have abundance when so much pain abounds? It’s lurking in my hospital daily—trauma, tragedy, tumor, and the slow decay of our abilities to time. And, every day since my son Mitch died, his loss weighs on my heart even as it has aged my body.
You have, no doubt, suffered some of these or other massive things as well: loss, pain, grief, anxiety, or a host of lesser-but-still massive maladies life brings to us all. But in my decades of walking among and trying to help the hurting, and in my family’s decade of hurting with them, I have discovered the single most important treatmentwe must learn to apply if we want to live not only in the trouble Jesus said we’d face but to also rediscover his promised abundance: Hope.
Hope is not simple optimism or wishing for something to be different when life hurts. Wish as much as you want, and it will not help you heal. Biblical hope is in someone, the Healer who rose from the dead with his life restored but his wounds still visible. And so can you too, my friend.
It is not easy—no surgery is—but there is a treatment plan to restore your heart and your happiness again after pain convinces you they are gone forever. Jesus said it plainly: “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you may have abundant life.”
Have you been through a massive hurt or a collection of wounds that have left you wondering if you can heal again? The neuroscience is clear: you can’t change your life until you change your mind. And this is what Paul means in Romans 12:2 when he says that the procedure you must undergo to stop allowing life to force you to conform to its pressures is to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We often read that verse in the light of not following culture’s demands on our lives. But in this space, bring your wounds to the Healer, and ask him to transform them through his promise of abundant life
The biblical model of changing our minds through pursuing God’s promises tracks perfectly with modern neuroscience’s discovery that how we think controls most of how we live. Philippians 4:6–8 is the best primer on self-brain surgery in the Bible. It’s all part of the Great Physician’s treatment plan for your healing.
And hope is the first dose.
Dum spiro spero (While I breathe, I hope),
P.S. Dr. Lee’s new book Hope is the First Dosecomes out on Tuesday, which basically means you can get it now . . . a decision I’d highly recommend. 🙂
P.P.S. I don’t receive affiliate revenue or anything like that. I just like introducing you to books and people that I believe in.