“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:4-8
I noticed the lump in my left leg on a Friday a few weeks ago and called the doctor’s office on the following Monday for an appointment. After a brief exam by the doctor, he gave me a script for an ultrasound, which was performed the following morning (Tuesday).
On Wednesday morning, a nurse from my doctor’s office called me. Although I thought it would be a short conversation wherein I was told the lump was nothing and I could just ignore it, I had a paper and pen to write everything down that she said.
After giving me the exact dimensions, she said, “Sharon, you have a palpable mass of uncertain etiology.” Uncertain etiology? Although I wasn’t exactly sure what “etiology” meant at that point, my heart sank and tears welled up in my eyes.
“Uncertain etiology? Can you please spell etiology for me?”
“E-T-I-O-L-O-G-Y. The doctor said you can either have an MRI or just go directly to a general surgeon to have the mass removed and biopsied.”
“You mean I can’t just ignore this? The doctor told me it is probably nothing.”
“You can’t ignore this, Sharon.”
The nurse gave me the names of a few general surgeons, and I quickly prayed and trusted the Lord that He would have me contact the right one. While I dialed the phone to call the first general surgeon on the list given to me, my mind was racing and my heart was praying, “Lord, I want to grow old with Jim. I want to do life together my family…for a very long time. I want to be the mommy to Joshua and Gabrielle. I love our cherubs so much. I want to be their mommy their whole lives. Please, Lord, be gracious to me. Forgive me, Lord. I was having such a difficult time the other day and uttered things to You that I didn’t mean at all. You know that. You know my heart. Please let me be OK. Please let this mass be nothing consequential. Please, Jesus.”
After hanging up the phone with the general surgeon’s scheduling secretary, the words “uncertain etiology” were like a dark cloud hovering above my head. I looked up “etiology” at www.dictionary.com. In short, etiology is a medical term used for “origin”. The origin of the mass in my leg was uncertain, so they had to remove it and biopsy it. The pathology had to be tested, so the mass had to be excised.
After an unexpected whirlwind of a morning from when the nurse called, I sat down to quietly seek and listen for the Lord. I felt Him quiet me with His love so softly. (Zeph. 3:17) Sharon, your origin is certain. I am your Origin. I am your Maker. And your eternity is secure. You know Who made you. You know from where you came. I am holding you tightly. Do not be afraid. I am with you. Your origin is certain.
As the days passed until the morning of the excision of the mass, those words of truth quieted my heart with certainty. My origin is certain. Before the creation of the world, I was His. My Maker holds my eternity in His precious hands because of redemption through Him. He has lavished His grace on me. Thank you, Lord. Thank you that there is no uncertain etiology as Your child. I am sure. I am Yours. There is no uncertainty. He created my inmost being. All the days He has ordained for me are written in His book. I am certain of all these things. Security never felt so good.
(I’ll be sharing about the surgical procedure and the relieving results in an upcoming post.)