Smooth surgery depends, in part, on all the “working parts” synchronizing for the benefit of the patient. Most operations will have at least one surgeon, one “scrub nurse,” a circulating nurse and possibly an assistant surgeon or two. The circulating nurse is not scrubbed or in sterile gown and gloves. He or she circulates the operating room to fetch any instruments, etc. that may be needed but are not already in the surgical field. The scrub nurse is scrubbed and in sterile gown and gloves and is responsible to hand the surgeon whatever instruments he or she requests. For the most part, the surgeon is literally focused on the operative site and just holds out his or her hand to receive from the scrub nurse whatever was requested, not taking his or her eyes from the field. The efficiency and intelligence of the scrub nurse go a long way toward helping things progress smoothly. A scrub nurse who has worked frequently with a particular surgeon often can anticipate what instrument will be next requested and will have it ready.
When I was scrubbed on surgery during my medical training, I remember more than one instance where the nurse was ready to hand an instrument when the surgeon asked for something not anticipated. Quickly laying down the “wrong” instrument, the requested one was supplied. The surgeon returned the instrument and then looked at the nurse and, smiling behind his mask said, “Give me what I need, not what I ask for.” The surgeon acknowledged that the nurse knew exactly what was going on and had anticipated correctly.
Sometimes prayer can be like that. God knows exactly what is going on in my life and in the entire universe. He knows better than I, just what I truly NEED. My prayer should be, “Lord, please give me what I need, and not necessarily what I ask for.” Perhaps this is what Jesus was teaching us about prayer when he told his disciples to pray, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 NIV). God knows we need bread, but we don’t necessarily need it to be banana nut bread or carrot cake. Jesus told us “your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6: 8b). When we trust Him to provide what we need, trusting His judgment as to what that is, we acknowledge our faith in and dependence on Him. It also removes a lot of worry and concern from our lives, when we recognize just how trustworthy He is. He WILL always give us what we need, but not necessarily what we ask for. And that is often a good thing.
Marilyn is a retired OB/GYN and member of the Study With Friends Ministries board. You can hear Marilyn on our series, Luke’s Jesus: The Inclusive Savior and the Pentateuch. You can read other blogs by Marilyn here. Pick your favorite way to enjoy our Bible studies: tune in to your favorite radio station, listen to our podcasts on our website or iTunes, listen through TuneIn, Stitcher, or Spotify online radio, or watch us on YouTube!