I have always been healthy — something I took for granted. I went about my life doing what was needed to be done and not appreciating how easy it was for me to do all of these things. And then life changed.
I am still healthy. However, I was told I will need surgery on my shoulder, and I’m seeing how I did not appreciate the ease of my life.
Last month, I was rear-ended. I was sore. My shoulder hurt, my neck was sore and stiff; but I thought it would all go away. Just to make sure, I went to see a chiropractor who took X-rays and made me do different movements, and based on some concerns he saw, I went and had an MRI done on my neck and shoulder. The MRIs showed I had bulging and herniated disks in my neck and a full thickness tear in my shoulder. My neck is sore, but it hopefully will get completely better with time and treatment.
I was hoping the shoulder would also get better with time, but my chiropractor sent me to an orthopedic doctor that specializes in shoulders. I went this week, and he told me I needed surgery — sooner rather than later. I was in denial. But as I talked to him, my chiropractor, and other medical people, I realized he was right if I want to get full function of the arm back.
But I also knew what this meant– my dad had two of these surgeries. If I do it before school ends, who will do my teaching? We aren’t a regular school that has substitutes. Who will drive my kids all over — for 6 weeks!? I needed to go get shirts to get ready for having to wear a sling. I will have to clean my house beforehand and get freezer food stocked. There were so many that started flitting through my head.
Now I realized that my life and health was still great compared to many other people, but I felt very sad. This is not what I wanted to happen — plus we have to now look for a minivan to replace the one that was totaled in the accident. Since we drive our cars forever, we didn’t get a lot for our 2006 van. I could feel myself slipping into anxiety and a little pity party.
And then I went to our Wednesday night kids program. Two teenagers gave the challenge to the kids last night. They were not very exciting or original, but the message spoke to my heart.
The topic they were talking on was patience, and the first verses that were read were James 1:2-4:
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
The lesson started off by saying,
This verse is saying to be happy when bad or difficult things come your way. The difficult things help you to be more patient. And when you are patient in the difficulties, God can use His chisel and hammer and make you into a more complete and beautiful Christian. The best time to work on patience is during tough times.
Talk about convicting! We don’t know why God allowed this accident to happen, but it could have been much worse, and now He wants me to be patient!
The lesson then talked about Joseph and all the “bad” things that happened in Joseph’s life.
There were three takeaways from this lesson that made me look at my attitude again:
- Trust God to do what He knows is best for us.
Sometimes it seems like things are going wrong in our lives. But never forget that God has a reason for everything that He does. Trust God to bring good things out of even the worst situations.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
- Look for ways to stay busy honoring God in our present situation.
Joseph could have used his energy to complain, but instead He used it to work hard and God blessed him wherever he went. When we stay busy, we leave less time for feeling sorry for ourselves and for getting upset about what is happening to us.
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Romans 12:11
- Remember that God has not forgotten us and will not abandon us.
The Bible says that God is faithful to finish what He starts in our lives. God will not forget about you. Don’t give up on Him.
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
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