The Lord has truly blessed me with a great network of friends over the years, many of whom are not associated with the church I pastor or with my workplace. As word about my upcoming surgery spread in the weeks leading up to the operation, I found that there were several people who wanted to put me on their prayer lists or simply follow-up with my recovery as individuals so that they could pray for me. Let me tell you, I am fine with letting others pray for me. Prayer changes things. Prayer is not just our way to converse with God but it is also our way to exercise our faith. And our faith, though it be small like a mustard seed can move mountains. Who am I to not allow someone else to exercise their faith? If you are out there and you want to pray for my recovery, for my family, for God’s work in me and through me, you most certainly have my permission!
A friend who I have not seen in some time heard about my upcoming surgery via an email prayer chain. He prayed for me and sent me an email and offering this blessing and these words of wisdom, “I pray God would give you a double blessing of His Grace and Patience during your recovery time. I encourage you to look out for His unexpected blessing during this time.”
My friend knows how tough it is for me to sit still and he knows that I will need the patience and grace that only God can provide during my recovery time. I like that fact that my friend reminded me to look for unexpected blessings during this time. I have found some and would like to briefly share a few of them with you.
- Reconnecting with old friends. I have received calls, cards, email, facebook friend requests and prayers from some special people that I have not connected with in a while. That has been a blessing.
- A blessing to see once again how strong my wife is. Marta took such good care of me while I felt bad. She did such a wonderful job of being my helper and my advocate while in the hospital. She was worn out from her own lack of sleep but she was a trooper. I am so blessed to have a wife who loves me so much! Thank you Lord for giving me a loving wife and a strong marriage.
- A wonderful support network through the church. I have received prayers, cards, meals and phone calls. Everyone has been awesome! The Lord has blessed me to be a part of a great congregation.
- Good time for reading. I have had the time to read and prepare outlines for my next four sermons. I have not completed them yet as I want them to be fresh the week of delivery. But I will be ahead of the game when I return to the pulpit and will not feel rushed. Thanks Lord!
- An opportunity to start this blog! I wanted to record and chart my progress with more than just a walking chart and this is a great outlet. I can also use the forum for ministry work going forward. Thanks Lord!
- Special Gift from God. On the last weekend before I had my surgery and would not be able to pick up my granddaughter for at least 6 months, possibly more depending on what the physical therapist says and how fast my granddaughter grows, God gave me a special gift. My granddaughter who always let me pick her up but who had never come up to me and held her arms up as a sign for me to pick her up kept doing it over and over and over. I held that child all day long! It was truly a blessing to get in as much holding and carrying time as possible on that last weekend prior to the surgery. Thanks Lord!
I know that the journey before and after surgery is different is for everybody. The details and experiences will vary. But I do know that this one factor will be the same; there will be unexpected blessings along the way. Expect them. Look for them. Cherish them. We serve a God who loves to bless us. We serve a God who has our back.