By: Tim Sader
They cried to the Lord in their trouble, he saved them from their distress. (Psalm 107:19)
Going to MDA Camp each year was the week I most looked forward to growing up. Being there with Bobby and others like me helped me realize that others knew my struggle. One of those struggles showed up when I was about fifteen; I began to develop a curvature in my spine from sitting and favoring my right side. The scoliosis seemed insignificant at twelve degrees but next appointment it was twenty-five. By my third set of x-rays I had a fifty-five degree curve and they want to do surgery if it’s above thirty. My parents left the decision up to me so I gave it some thought and decided that being healthy was far more important than my temporary comfort. We scheduled the surgery for some time in March and I would be out of school the rest of the year. I couldn’t believe how many pre-op appointments I had to go to and all of them were in Charlotte an hour away. On four different days I had to see the orthopedic surgeon, a pulmonologist, cardiologist and an anesthesiologist to be Okayed for surgery. On surgery day I had to be there at 5:30 in the morning for preparations. The surgery took five and a half hours and I needed three pints of blood that my dad gave for me. My parents had to go home to get my brother after school so they let them see me when I woke in the recovery room. Mom said I looked swelled and kind of green when she saw me; it made her cry all the way home. When they came back later that evening mom was relieved to see me sitting up in a chair eating and watching TV. The pain at times was intense, it felt like someone took my body and replaced it with one that couldn’t move well. Going home was scary I had to learn to do things differently than I did before and somethings I never did again. My parents along with the help of our church, my aide and best friend Joseph took me on the journey down the long road of recovery.
Recovering at home after major surgery isn’t easy for anyone yet alone having a physical disability in the midst of it. We had to call out to the Lord in our time of troubles and He saved us in our distress. There were many unknowns coming home from the hospital. How was I going to bathe, use the toilet, get lifted without holding around my back and at first I wasn’t even able to control my wheelchair. The Lord helped us think of ways to do all of these things so we were able to manage. What He spoke to us in our time of need truly was a life saver (Ps. 107:20). The surgery itself was a help to my overall health, though a man was used to do it I know God is the healer and ultimately He spared my life (Ps. 30:2-3). Many times while getting better I felt sad and heartbroken but God used the love and humor of others to bind those wounds (Ps. 147:3). One night mom and my friend Joseph helped get me in bed and they laughed so hard when I said everything was ok but my pinky wasn’t right. Another night I took my pain medicine with a big clump of jello that I swallowed but the pill didn’t go down. I spit it out and it shot across the room like a bullet; Joseph rolled in the floor laughing for about an hour. In His home town Jesus could do no miracles there except lay His hands on a couple sick people to heal them (Mk. 6:5). I know Jesus did this instantly but not without first placing hands on them. When we help someone get well we are touching them and helping them heal. One sign of a true believer is that we would put our hands on sick people and they would get well (Mk. 16:17-18). It is my thought that sometimes putting our hands on the sick might involve more than a simple touch; we might have to help with a need that will assist them in the process. The help I had at this time literally contributed to making me strong. Their assistance gave my feet a level path so that I could be healed (Heb. 12:12-13). Back surgery was hard and I could have never done it without the support of family and friends.
Remember that recovery takes time and it is different for everyone. The amount of time it takes to get well is unimportant as long as we do what it takes to get there. Healing from our wounds is not always physical. Wounds come in many forms; they can be mental, emotional and even spiritual. Sometimes physical wounds need to heal in another form and the other forms can heal in different ways to. The medical community has learned many great things concerning our health and anatomy but the Spirit of God inside of us knows all things and He will guide us on our path of health and wellness.
Lord I ask that you would help me look for the proper means of my personal health and wellness. Surround me with the right medical team that I can trust to help me make choices that are most necessary. Help those people in my support system to provide me with an environment that is conducive for getting well and remaining that way. When I am wounded Lord give me the courage and humility to ask for and accept help from my loved ones. Mostly Lord help us to remember that when we are sick that you are most able to touch us and make us well. In Jesus name, Amen.
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No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. Luke 8:16