I love the game! I love to be in the game and NOT on the sidelines watching the game. To begin with, you have to understand how much I love sundays. I look forward to this day all week long. Aside from my family time, my entire week is spent in preparation for sunday. I read, study, plan, write and practice my sermon. I put my heart into it every week. It’s not just delivering the sermon that I look forward to every sunday, it’s also the fellowship. I love seeing my flock. The people of Southern Hills are like family to us. Heather and I love them and they love us. We do our best to care for their spiritual needs and in return they care for us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. On top of all that, I love the corporate worship! Our choir and praise team seem to lift me up every sunday beyond the mortal realm and into heavenly places as they lead us to worship our heavenly creator. I love Sundays!
So… When I was viciously attacked by a 2 millimeter kidney stone at 1:00am on Sunday morning, I was devastated! Not just because of the physical pain that crystalized rock from Hades inflicted but because I might be missing church.
I ended up missing church the morning of January 19th – But… I learned several lessons from my ordeal.
1. No one is Indispensable
What do you bring to the table? What can you do that no one else can do? We often ask these questions within our church staff. Each of whom bring unique qualities that help minister to the flock. Me? I’m the preacher. Fred is an incredible manager and maintains our church systems with great efficiency throughout the week. And I preach. Jason develops incredible church programs and special events while bringing to physical life the abstract dreams I often present him. And I preach. Steve builds people. He is wonderful with teens, adults, retirees and children. He comes up with ideas that I would never think of. And I preach. Heather, Cindy, Akeem, Kelly, Kimberly, Becky & Melonie all bring something to the table, and that’s good because I too add something… I preach. But that Sunday morning while I lay in the Emergency Room of Southern Hills Hospital, the Lord reminded me… “I use you because I love you. But, remember, I can use anyone.” (I Peter 5:5-6)
2. God knows what He is Doing
As the 1988 version of myself would say, “Duuuhhh!” Are you like me? Do you sometimes question this obvious statement? Something unexpected happens and you think, “God, what are you thinking?” I remember sitting there in the hospital thinking, “I’m starting a brand new sermon series today! I’ve got to be there. There are going to be great crowds and they are expecting me to be standing in front of them in only 6 hours.” This kind of thinking is especially ironic since the sermon series I was preparing to preach was entitled: Overwhelmed. I had to stop that morning and realize that God was in control. That, perhaps, He didn’t want me to preach that message but wanted someone else to stand in my place. This was a strange thought to a control freak like me. I believe that God was teaching me another lesson. God’s ways are always better. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
3. Kidney Stones are no Joke
Another lesson I learned was that these little devils are serious business. Go ahead and google “pain with kidney stones” if you don’t believe me. Ignore the stuff about some stones being able to pass without even being noticed. Focus instead on the amount of times the word excruciating is used. Seriously, if you have ever had a kidney stone we are now bonded. Others may not understand – but we do! This pain unites all, regardless of race, creed, age, NCAA conference, sex, or economic status. Together we stand avoiding leafy greens and calcium supplements. Together we stand… and sometimes crawl into the corner of the room, curl up in a fetal position and sob like a child. At least we have each other.
Have you ever learned one of these lessons? Comment Below: