By: Rev. Steve Zimmerman
For me 2022 seems to have been the Year of Pain and Wait. It started by coming off bypass surgery during the holidays last year. Of course, physical therapy was my “friend” by February. During that time, the fine ladies there noticed that since I was going to meet deductible this year that if I had work done on my bad left knee it might bring down my blood pressure and make life more bearable. After I had been set free at therapy, I was determined to investigate the matter.
What I did not count on was the wait!! After following up with my orthopedic doctor, I was once again in physical therapy to see about avoiding knee surgery. After six weeks realizing that this was not an option, a delayed MRI was in order. After getting the results that I was a true candidate for this operation, I was informed by my doctor that he needed to take a medical leave of absence that forced me to secure another doctor to perform the procedure.
It was now early summer, and I was nowhere closer than when I started this year! Consulting with two other doctors, the closest time I could get the work done was next year because of the pandemic backlog. I was about ready to live with the pain!
Fortunately, a friend of the family recommended a doctor who grew up in the area and might be taking on new patients. We made the trip and finally a total knee replacement in September was scheduled. From all indications, the surgery has been a success. Physical therapy is coming along well and should be done by the end of this month. What a relief!
In this season of Advent, there are some lessons I have learned in this peculiar year that might be helpful to all of us as we patiently wait on a new day that will come.
- God’s calendar and ours are not always the same.
If you are like me, once I have something in my mind that a thing needs to be done, it is time to get to it! God doesn’t operate like that. He never has! Somehow, I should realize it and take comfort that He knows best.
- Pain usually comes with waiting.
Whether we like it or not, life is not pain-free. While we wait on God to do things in our own personal life or in the life of our church, there will be painful moments that we will have to go through. Yet if we did not experience the pain, we would not appreciate the joy of being set free from it when it is gone.
- While waiting, be faithful yet open to the new.
As we all go through this season of waiting, our attention still needs to be on the everyday things of life. Our commitment to the Lord’s work should not wane. However, this period may be one in which God may be opening doors that we would have not experienced if we did not have a chance to slow down and experience the divine.
- Keep the focus on the goal.
To say the last two months of therapy have been a challenge might be an understatement! At first, I was wondering if this surgery was worth it. The healing was taking much longer than I anticipated. But each time I do my exercises, I keep my mind on what lays in store when the knee is fully functioning. Don’t give up on the prize while you wait. It will be worth it all!
These thoughts are from Rev. Steve Zimmerman, the founding partner of Barnabas Partnership. He works alongside churches in their mission process and small group dynamics. He coordinates the work of the partnership out of Danville, Virginia. Contact him for more information about how he can help you.