Today, May 2nd, is the anniversary of a surgery that I had three years ago to fix a serious tendon injury I sustained in late April, 2018. I had to wait nine days from the date of my injury before the doctors could schedule and perform the needed repair to my right leg. I was in rehab for months and had a leg brace that I had to wear for 16 weeks.
It was a very long recovery and to this day, I can tell that things will never return completely to my pre-accident strength and mobility. But that’s okay – I am so very fortunate that things turned out as well as they did.
Oddly, I had another surgery in my life that also occurred on a May 2nd. That time, I had suffered for almost a year with severe throat infections and was on massive doses of penicillin. Unfortunately, the treatment didn’t solve my problem. My throat was so sore that I couldn’t swallow and I ended up being hospitalized – Other than one other surgery that required me to stay overnight, I have been lucky that every other time I have been in a hospital, it has been an an out patient.
But back to the story… I ended up needing surgery to remove my tonsils, where the doctors determined my massive infection was located. My father had died in the same hospital 11 months earlier – to the day, and to be perfectly transparent about this, I was scared to be put to sleep for the surgery. So… and here’s the difficult to imagine part, I requested that they take out my tonsils under a local anesthetic. That’s right – on hindsight, it was probably not my finest decision.
I was actually wide awake and sat in a type of dental chair, without an IV, while they stuck stuff down my throat and took my tonsils out. It took 56 minutes… and it was quite painful… in fact, it was incredibly painful! Kind of like when I ruptured my quad tendon. So, May 2nd, 1979 and May 2, 2018 will always be remembered as days that I had invasive procedures done! And I’m still not a fan of hospitals.
But what’s the chance that two of three serious procedures in my life both happened on May 2nd? Now I consider it a win if I can get through the day without injury! Like many others, I have permanent reminders and scars from my human frailties.
The apostle Paul actually wrote about his infirmities in the Bible. We don’t know exactly what his health issues were, but it is supposed that it could have something to do with his eyesight. No matter… the point is that Paul went through trials and tribulations physically, as most of us have, and they left a mark on him that he spoke about in his second letter to the church at Corinth.
That brings us to our verse for tonight. Paul tells his church, and us, in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 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 made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
My encouragement tonight is that we live in an age, unlike Paul, when medicine has advanced to the point that many of our physical injuries can be successfully treated. While we still wrestle with elusive cures for many serious illnesses, we have the advantage of anesthesia and pain meds that can help up through the rough times we all encounter when accidents happen. My prayer is that we will all be grateful for our doctors and health care professionals who stand ready as medical heroes to guide us toward fast recoveries with, hopefully, minimal pain and discomfort. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…