Well, today marks another anniversary in my life – and as the title of this blog implies, it was on this date, May 2nd, in 1979, that I had my first surgery – I was 26 and scared to death. Several factors all contributed to my fear – my Dad had died in the same hospital exactly 11 months earlier. And I had this big control thing going on, so I felt that if I was “put to sleep”, I wouldn’t know what was going on and perhaps I wouldn’t wake up.
And while this was supposedly a minor surgery, the removal of my tonsils, the truth is that I searched until I found a doctor who would perform the surgery under a local anesthetic. That’s right – I insisted on staying awake and watching them remove my tonsils, and that’s exactly what I did! And it was no ordinary tonsillectomy; let me tell you. I have done some dumb things in my life; and you can go back to my April 1st post if you want to read about some of them, but this stupid decision ranks right up there with the best of them.
As I said above, I insisted on staying awake and it was quite an experience. I just didn’t have a good option, in my opinion. Being put out was not a possibility and the tonsils had to come out. So I was wheeled into surgery and put on an inclined table; I was actually kind of sitting up. Not a good start….
After my second tonsil was removed, I was wheeled out of surgery, 52 minutes after it started, and taken to my room. Janet said I looked like I was dead. And I am sure that I had been so fearful that I just crashed after it was all over. My throat hurt like crazy, but that didn’t stop me from smoking the next morning. That’s right; dumb decision after dumb decision.
So what’s the point here? That I really had trust issues with God. I didn’t understand why my father had been taken by cancer, and I was afraid that I would die as well. My faith was not as strong as it is today, but I still deal with fear issues about doctors, as I have talked about before in these posts. And perhaps this is all magnified by the death of my friend Roger, whose funeral I helped perform this past Saturday.
The verse that sticks in my mind is Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Period. Short, simple and to the point. I really want to embrace another passage, Psalm 118:6, but I struggle with this one, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Because I do not want to be afraid, but at times, I am. Fear sort of creeps up on me, and before I know it, I am consumed by it. And I keep working on it….
So my encouragement tonight is that God knows your heart and your fears. When you are afraid, try to turn the problem over to God and rest in His peace. And my prayer is that God will envelop you with His divine peace and that your fear may be eradicated by the overwhelming love of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Because fear is a terrible thing, and the more you trust God, the more He will manage your fears for you. So, I will try again, with God’s help, to remove fear from my life. Maybe next time I will do even better….