I recently had an MRI done on my shoulder. You know, the MRI is that large tube that they slide you into and they can get an image of the soft tissue. If you’re claustrophobic, it would probably be a stressor since the machine is within inches of your nose and they strap you in pretty tight so you don’t move. The part that was surprising to me was how long it took – about 40 minutes. Imagine being strapped into a narrow table and slid into a tight tube and just lie there for 40 minutes with nothing to do. They give you headphones because the machine is so loud and the technician can talk to you. Anyway, I’m lying in this machine with nothing to do. So first, I start focusing on my breathing. That was kind of weird. Then I thought I could take a nap, but it was pretty loud in there. So I did something pretty dangerous. I asked God to show me anything He wanted to deal with in my life. Yikes! Well, He did. We had a really deep, intense conversation about my life, even going back to when I was 7 or 8 years old. He showed me things that I had believed to be true but turned out not to be true. He showed me decisions I had made based on bad information. He totally and radically re-oriented some areas of my life. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had with Him in a long time, all in a hospital MRI machine.
So why am I telling you this? Because I think we are often afraid to really open up our lives to God. We are afraid He will be angry with us and giving Him that opportunity will only confirm to us what terrible people we really are. We don’t really want to know what He thinks of us, because we think it won’t be good. But we would be wrong. You see, we have to start with the basic premise that He wants good for us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and He knows the junk better than we do, but He wants to clean us up. He wants us to be healed and whole. He doesn’t want us to have to live with all the junk in our hearts.
King David expressed the same idea in the Psalms.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24, ESV)
There is great freedom in simply sitting in His presence and genuinely asking Him to search us. I think you would be surprised at how loving He is. He will to do a spiritual MRI and reveal the areas that aren’t working well, but He will then perform the necessary surgery to remove or repair the damage. You will be delighted at how free and light you will feel when you give Him the chance to look inside and lead you “in the way everlasting” – in the way of freedom, in the way of wholeness, in the way of love. I will take an MRI any day, especially when it’s the Lord doing it.