"The wounds of a friend can be trusted" Proverbs 26:6
As a pastor, I'm often asked to pray for people as they endure surgery. Praying and waiting while the procedure continues hour after hour, it amazes me, but no longer surprises, to discover that this is the third or fourth operation of the day for that doctor. What is it that keeps the surgeon going, excising cancer from a patient's body?
I have to believe that it is Wrath: The healer is the sworn enemy of sickness. The doctor is determined to remove every trace of the deadly pestilence from the patient. Loving life, loving health, these healers are refining fires, purifying a body from every unhealthy cell.
That wrath might have had it's beginning in the death of a sister, parent. That future oncologist might have lost a son or daughter. This Wrath might still bring tears and fierceness, impatience with delays and fatigue and the carelessness of others. the Wrath is renewed with every unnecessary death, all the suffering, all the despair that disease brings.
That Wrath explains the years of study, preparation and sacrifice; this Wrath is a facet of a love of life and humanity; terrifying in its power, awesome in its works.
The patient emerges from surgery, scarred, bruised, aching. These are the wounds of a friend. The wounds will heal, the scars will testify to the love that went to war upon death.
So also the wrath of God against all unrighteousness. He who lost his Son to sin's malice is fiercely determined to remove every trace of it from his creation. When we turn to him for help, he puts every ounce of his determination, skill and power to work in us. Like a doctor, God has staked his reputation on winning this battle. Even for his own name's sake he will carry on. However long it takes, at whatever personal cost, Jesus will complete the work he began in us. Thank God for his wrath!