I’ve begun to experience complications or side effects from my surgeries earlier this year. My spinal neck surgery, although successful, has resulted in a painful sore deep in my throat, and possibly a form of dysphonia. I’ve only preached four times and conducted three weddings since my surgery, and in all but one, my voice painfully seized up, as if I had a sudden, excruciating case of strep throat. My eyes poured water, I could barely catch my breath, much less get a word out, and I had to guzzle water in an attempt to get my voice back and finish. Then without warning, it happened again last week at my parent’s lake house, over dinner- no preaching, no teaching, no wedding. Alarming.
Within a couple of days, the knee I had surgery on back in July began to swell up and painfully “snap, crackle and pop” like a bowl of Rice Krispies. It has forced me to reduce my activities- exercise, working with my friend Greg Sweatt in his lawn care business, even walking up and down my own driveway. I’m hoping it’s just scar tissue breaking up. Frustrating.
So here I am, unable to talk or walk very well. I’ve always been a preacher/teacher, always been very physically active. and right now can do neither. While I rest both, and contemplate my medical options, I find two of my greatest strengths right now are my biggest weaknesses. The guys at Phoenix Community prayed over me this morning, and I have relinquished it all into God‘s hands. God called me into the ministry at 17 years old, and being a pastor and preacher is all I’ve ever known. I’ve always been an athlete, but my surgeries have considerably curbed my activity level. I prayed, “Father, I surrender this to You. I ask you to heal me, but if You choose not to, I trust You. My life, my calling, all are Yours. Do with me what you will.”
Whatever comes, I know it has been filtered through God’s loving fingers. He still has a call on my life, a mission for me accomplish. I’m not sure what it will look like, but I hope and pray for healing, or for God to use my weaknesses as strengths. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9