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,