If one were to go by the Biblical story of creation, the first orthopaedic surgery ever performed was by God himself. He anaesthetised Adam, the first man, whom he had created from the dust of the ground, removed a rib from his body, and stitched up the flesh. Out of Adam’s rib, God created Eve, the first woman. When Adam saw Eve, he exclaimed, “This is the bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh!” (Genesis 2:7,21-23)
The Bible has often dealt with flesh and bone as separate entities within the body. The flesh is the weaker, carnal part, while bones are stronger and give stability to the body. The flesh is easily corrupted, but bones last long. Bones discovered during archaeological excavations can throw light on the history of past ages, and the course of biological evolution.
The 200-odd bones of the human body protect the various organs, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals, provide support for the body, and enable its movements. The thigh bone named the femur runs from the hip joint to the knee joint. It is the strongest as well as the longest bone in the human body.
Recently, in a freak road accident, I fractured my femur. I fell on the road and was unable to get up or move. I had to undergo surgery to repair the fracture and I am on my road to recovery. While trying to find solace in God’s word during this time of testing, I found that the word bone is used figuratively in many places in the Bible to express different meanings. Like the term shaking of the bones indicates trembling with fear (Job 4:14) while burning of the bones is an expression of grief (Job 30:30) or depression (Psalms 102:3, Lamentations 1:13). Bones are commonly referred to in many different psalms, and described as being troubled, out of joint, consumed, wasted away or waxed old. (Psalms 6:2, 22:14, 31:10, 32:3, 51:8)
In the course of my treatment that would repair my damaged femur, I had all those feelings. I was scared, troubled, helpless, shaken, and unstable. But what was amazing to me was that my God already knew how I felt, and he was there to alleviate my suffering. And this is the reassurance he had already given: “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” (Psalm 34:19-20)
When Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, he had said to them, “Look at me, I am living, see that I am made of flesh and bone!” (Luke 24:39)
I know that my Redeemer lives. (Job 19:25) He knows how I feel. He shares my pain. He is forever there to comfort me.