Week 21 – God exceeds expectations…even with kidney stones!

My back is doing very well and has not been troubling me at all.  But that is not to say I have not had my share of trouble.  This weekend definitely had its share.  It was a very interesting weekend.  It was one filled with peaks and valleys; trials and some triumphs.  The greatest biggest trial and triumph had to do with the church service.  A few weeks ago the Lord laid it upon my heart to have a high attendance Sunday in conjunction with our “dinner on the grounds” the last Sunday in July.  Every month that has five Sundays we have a pot luck lunch following the service.  I decided that this time of year would be a good time to send out invitations to everyone in the mail, email and through Facebook.  A lot of excitement was generated leading up to this service; many of our people really stepped up to the plate and invited a whole host of friends and family.  We have some awesome people at Onion Creek Baptist church!

My trouble was not with people being involved; my trouble was that I woke up about 4:40 am Sunday morning with a familiar pain in my side.  The pain radiated from my side to the back and caused me to double over in bed.  I became sweaty, clammy and nauseated.  There are few things worse than the dry heaves when you have had back surgery and you have a hard time bending down in front of the porcelain throne.  The trouble was I had a kidney stone that decided it was time to leave the kidney and begin its journey out of my body.  Last year I had 4 kidney stones and I know from experience that sometimes the body will have these pains or “contractions” for a couple of hours and then give up only to begin the “contractions” a few hours later in the day.  It is almost as if the body says, “That’s all you can stand for now, you don’t know nothing about birthin’ no babies.”  I was hoping the pain would stop before church and not start back again until AFTER church.  Those were my thoughts and THAT was my prayer.  “Give me a big enough window of time that I can preach today Lord.”  I knew the church was going to be pretty full and I was ready to speak to them about the importance of bringing children to the Lord with emphasis on allowing the Lord to guide our schedules and to fight the urge that the disciples displayed in Mark 10:13 – 16 to stick to our schedule no matter what.  I really wanted to bring the message that interruptions happen and sometimes we should just go with them and recognize that not only does God use interruptions but that we should acknowledge that He is the God of interruptions.  At this point I recognized I was facing one of those interruptions myself.  I had an opportunity to practice the message even before I preached it.

At that point, I changed my prayer and began to pray, “Okay Lord, if you want me to stay home with this kidney stone, I will.’  The pain eased up about 30 minutes later.  I fell back to sleep and woke up at my usual time with a sudden, sharp, stinging sensation, much lower and this time on the front side of my body.  It was very brief and only lasted a moment.  This pain is usually felt when the stone is already in the bladder.  I told my wife that it must be referred pain because there was no way that stone could have moved that quickly.  I was a little tired and sore but I got up, got dressed and went to church.  When we got to church, I went to the restroom and I was amazed that I had just passed the stone!  Based on visuals only – I would say this stone was about 3 millimeters.   By the time the worship service began I was almost feeling 100%.  That was the quickest experience I have ever had with a kidney stone.  I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to attend the service and allowed that stone to pass so quickly.  The service was awesome, attendance was excellent and a great time of fellowship was enjoyed by everyone!  AND, and, I was blessed with the opportunity to participate on a day when it looked like I may have to stay home sick or at best go home immediately after the service and suffer with a kidney stone for the rest of that day and likely the next two or three as well.  The Lord was indeed gracious to me!  It reminds me of what Paul said in Ephesians 3:20 – 21

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

 God is able to do far more than we ask for or think.  Don’t limit Him with your prayers like I was doing when the kidney stone first started its journey.  God has often times far exceeded the pitiful little requests that I lift up unto Him.  Some may read this with a cynical point of view and say, if He is so good, so merciful, why would He allow you to even get kidney stones?  My response in “Readers Digest” form is simply this.  We live in a sin-fallen world.  Sin and disease entered this world through the willful, sinful actions of man.  I serve a Lord who offers me forgiveness of my sins and comfort for the challenges and Grace for the trials I endure in this sin fallen world….even kidney stones.  My God is so merciful that He has made a way that one day I shall have a perfect body and live with Him in paradise forever.  I may not understand everything now…but I understand that.  I pray that someday you will too.

What ever you may be going through on this day, make your requests known unto Him.  He just may exceed your expectations.

If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can send me an email directly at pastorpstephens@aol.com

About pastorpstephens

I have been blessed to have served as a pastor, a chaplain and to have been involved in other ministries throughout the years. My wife Marta and I have been blessed with a wonderful family that includes our daughter, her husband and their two daughters and our son and his wife and their son. Each of them are very special to us so please keep them all in your prayers. One truth that I always try to share with people I meet is that anything God asks you to do, He will help you to do. God has your back.
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