Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
I recently had surgery and the results were not what I expected, they may even been better than I ever could have expected, it’s just too early to tell. I am incredibly blessed by the number of people who prayed for and continue to pray for me. I’ve been taught to be specific in my prayers so that I know when God answers. As surgery approached I wondered how I should ask people to pray. The surgeon had carefully explained all our options and after praying and discussing them we had decided on the option we wanted to take. From the surgeon’s perspective it was the most invasive option with the longest recovery, but the best chance of a complete return to normal.
I soon began asking people to pray for very specific results since from my perspective I understood what the surgery was and the outcome I desired. However, I couldn’t shake the anxiety over the recovery process which included the possibility of a second surgery. Shortly before surgery, I changed my request. I asked that the surgeons be guided with extraordinary wisdom and skill to achieve the best possible outcome. I recognized that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was trying to put into words my desire that God be allowed to guide the outcome.
When I was finally awake after surgery the surgeon came in and explained what happened. The actual surgery that was performed was not on the list of options. As they were preparing for the planned surgery they discovered a condition that would have made the original plans totally ineffective. I believe that God answered my prayer. God knew what I didn’t know.
I’m learning that it is a good thing to ask God for what I desire. He is good and loving and cares for me like no one else. I’m also learning to trust him with the actual outcome and the process for getting there. My knowledge is extremely limited and his is infinite.
One final note on surgery. I had an unpleasant experience with anesthesia during my previous surgery. I wish I had been trusting enough to thank God in advance for the anesthesiologist he provided. The doctor knew exactly what I had experienced and went out of his way to make sure I had a much better experience. It was a blessing to wake up from surgery with the room standing still and my stomach not turning over.
There have been some minor challenges in my recovery and I’m doing my best to choose gratitude and laugh. God is good, and he does know best.
The following story arrived in email as I was writing the above post. I thought it was relevant and might bring a laugh.
Mikey’s Funnies is generously hosted by Agathon Group, website development and hosting with a ministry heart:
John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a natural motivator.
If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”
He replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life! I choose the positive side of life.”
“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.
“Yes, it is,” he said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life.”
I reflected on what he said. Soon thereafter, I left the company we worked at to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.
Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.
I happened to run into him about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”
I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.
“The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,” he replied. “Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”
“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.
He continued, “..the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”
“What did you do?” I asked.
“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said John. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Gravity!'”
Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”
He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
The easiest way to grow wise and good is to be around people who are wiser and better than you.
PASS IT ON!
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