Every generation has lessons and legends they pass on to the next. Like who ever discovered a rabbit’s foot brings good luck? Who ever decided it’s just not good luck to have a black cat cross your path? I hope it wasn’t the same people that said lightning doesn’t strike twice. Which is to say that the same bad thing won’t happen to the same person twice. Let me briefly put that last theory to rest for you.
Over the last five years alone, I’ve ministered to hundreds of hospice patients inside homes, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. For me, it’s never been a burden or just a job. I feel called by God to help people find God’s peace, comfort and hope even in the midst of great crisis. However, in just a brief moment my ability to do that drastically changed.
About two years ago, while trying to help a family process their grief a rather large lady passed out into my arms. I did the best I could to keep her from pounding the hard floor. Her body did the best it could to make it where I never walked again. I really thought I would just work through the pain. Six weeks later, I could barely take a few steps. MRI results showed that I had a muscle tear in my right side and a lower back bulge in my L3,L4, and L5 vertebrae.
It took quite a while to get back on my feet. After many months of physical therapy, pain shots, time and faith I finally got back to what I loved doing so much. I still had a little discomfort, but I had avoided surgery and was 85% stronger. You know, sometimes you have to know where you were to appreciate where you are.
Recently, I was out visiting several hospice patients inside a facility. I was feeling great and doing what I love so much. When all of sudden, my legs were literally knocked out from underneath me. Someone had spilled a trail of fluids that obviously I did not see before me. One young lady watched as this pastor flew about three feet in the air. I’m willing to bet I would have been a youtube sensation if there was video surveillance. I did everything I could to just keep from breaking my neck.
Praise God, I didn’t break my neck. However, it does appear that I struck more than one nerve in body. I was beyond sore the next day. As each day has passed the pressure in my legs has only gotten worse. Evidently, this time around I have done something that isn’t just going away tomorrow. It’s all I can do to stand on my legs while wearing knee pads and a back brace. And, honestly this time around I’m not feeling near as crazy inside.
First of all, let’s just say the heck with that lie that lightning doesn’t strike twice. The truth is, anything can happen on any given day. You and I have to find a way to work through and most importantly trust God to take us through whatever happens in life.
A few days after my injury, I was talking with a military veteran who had years of wear and tear on his body. From his wheelchair, he told me about all his falls. He told me how he fell out of a helicopter, broke his back and lived to tell about it. He said, “I’ve found in my years that time plus faith will always bring healing. You might not be as you once were, but you can always come out even stronger on the other side.”
Those words are healing to my heart and soul even now. Especially as I once again find myself on the trail of the unknown. I have no idea what tomorrow holds, but I do know who holds tomorrow. I know from my first time of being knocked down that God is faithful and will take me through even these days.
I pray that whatever you might be facing you know that God is there, God is bigger and God is still in control. And that sometimes God calms the storm, but He can always calm His child.
(Luke 8:24)”The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.”
(James 1:2-4) “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.