This morning, about the same time that this post appears on my blog, I will be undergoing spinal fusion surgery. This is my 3rd spinal fusion in 4 years, and the 4th major surgery I will have had in that same time period. I both need and appreciate your prayers.
St. Paul, suffering from some infirmity which remains unknown to us, mentions asking God three times to be relieved from the suffering caused by “the thorn in his flesh.” Each time however God denied his request saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). I find myself similarly petitioning God, and having to live the same response. St. Paul continued: “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). I am still trying, albeit reluctantly, to learn that godly response.
St. Paul says in another epistle: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5). I still have a goal to be a Christian, but in all these teachings of St. Paul, I see myself no where near fulfilling the instruction given to me. I’m still trying to learn how to rejoice in suffering, so that the other virtues may become present in my life. At least I have direction in my life – I see where I am supposed to go, and that it still for me is a sojourn to get there.
My blog posts for the past several days were all prepared days ago and put in the queue to be posted as scheduled. This will be true of all the posts appearing for the next several weeks. When I am able, I will give an update on my condition which will be more of a “live” report.
My surgery is hardly the biggest news of the day. Today is election day in the USA. So as several wits have quipped to me, mine is elective surgery. I’m about to find out what is more painful, spinal fusion surgery or the presidential election.
What I’m hoping for today? That all will go well enough with surgery so that some time later today, the nurses and therapists will come to me and tell me to get up and walk.
Though some people seem to think “miracles” can only happen in some inexplicable and supernatural way, I for my part have found that much of what modern medical science is miraculous. What we humans are capable of discovering, learning and inventing is phenomenal and astounding. God has gifted us with so much. It is astonishing what we are capable of learning, envisioning, and engineering. Thanks be to God. If only we were always willing to use all our wisdom and knowledge to help our fellow humans!