When Healing Takes Time

I’m not used to being “sick”.  While I get frequent sinus infections, I continue on, striving to work as normal as possible.  But this is different.

I recently had neck surgery to remove two bulging discs.  The discs were pressing on my spinal cord, causing many negative symptoms.  The surgery was nearly 7 hours as the surgeon removed bone spurs that were pressing on nerves.  All went well and therefore I should be better, right? 

At least that is how I think.  Both the surgeon and my family doctor said “normal recovery time is 6-8 weeks” (with a six month to one year window of full recovery and activities).  But I want to be well now.

Here is the thing that my wife reminded me:  I am not just recovering from surgery.  I am recovering from a serious medical condition that caused pain, clumsiness and the loss of strength in my left arm.  It also has robbed me of stamina.  If I didn’t have the surgery, the long term prognosis included permanent paralysis.  And this condition has been going on for years, so why would I expect to be better in three weeks?

The Apostle Paul was also afflicted with something he called his “thorn in the side”.  He writes about this in 2 Corinthians 12.

…Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.…

I am normally the one giving the pastoral care advice.  Now I am on the receiving end and need to hear those words spoken by Paul, written to a church long gone, but written to me as well.

Today I need those words.  I need to hear Paul remind me that God’s grace is sufficient and I need to rest in those words.

Grace and peace,