Last week was my 3.5 month check up following my laminectomy and the fusion of my L4 and L5 vertebrae. My check up went well as I reported last week and the doctor not only allowed me to begin a program of walking for exercise each morning before I go to work but he also reduced the size of the back brace I need to wear. I was able to remove the two plastic support plates that came with the brace. One was in front and one was in back. Because of the placement of those supports, my wife often referred to me as her “turtle”. I am sure it was a term that she used affectionately…only with me and never shared with any of her friends. The support in back was a rather large support and now that it is gone, I can really tell a difference. The brace is not nearly as hot and confining as before. This is great as the temperature has exceeded 100 degrees at least 17 times in the last month. Also, I can tell a difference because there is much less support. Many of the muscles in my back have come to depend on that support during the day and they have let me know the last few nights as I lay down to sleep that they miss the support those “turtle shells” offered during the day.
But overall, the pain has not been bad and I have been able to sleep. (Thank you Lord!) My pain has only been a little bit of stiffness and slight fatigue of the muscles from lack of use. Nothing like the pain in the lower back I experienced before the surgery and nothing that has made me need to take any pain pills or even any Tylenol. It has been more of an annoyance.
I recently talked to one person who is experiencing some back pain and they are not sure what they are going to do. They don’t know if they are going to get cortisone shots or perhaps have surgery. They said they feel like they are really having a testing of their faith. The words they spoke reminded me of a passage found in the book of James that speaks of the testing of our faith. James, said in James 1:2 – 4:
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I know it may sound like back pain would be a weird way to have our faith tested, but maybe it makes more sense to think of it more as an opportune time for our faith to grow. There is never a better time to call on the Lord than when we need strength. There is never a better time to call on the Lord than when we need help being patient. There is never a better time to call on the Lord than when we find ourselves in the midst of a situation that we cannot change, one we cannot accept or one we cannot deal with on our own. These are the kinds of situations where He works best. These are the kinds of situations where our faith grows!
I pray that you will not experience any pain today. I pray that you will be able to push through any trial you are going through today. I pray that your faith in the Lord will take you to a place in Him where you are “lacking in nothing”. I know that the Lord can and will produce endurance in you. That is what He does best. The Lord God has your back.
If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org