On this day 7 months ago, I was in Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, TX after having had a stroke.
What Satan intended for my destruction, God has transformed into a blessing for me. All the way through this, my wife, Vivian, and I have been blessed. Please don’t think that I am bragging on her or myself. As Paul wrote, “31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
On the evening of May 5, 2013, I lay in the hospital, dying. No one knew what the outcome would be. Twenty years earlier in 1993 in the month of May, Vivian’s father suffered a cerebral aneurysm which bled twice into his brain. So, she knew what to expect. If I even survived, I might be only an eggplant, requiring constant care. (By the way, her father not only survived but has thrived. I encountered him this morning out gathering wood for his wood burning stove.) One person came to her to inform her that the stroke was a judgment from God on me for sin I had done. I hope he knows that he is forgiven for such a hateful remark to her in her painful distress.
And he was mistaken and deluded, bless the Lord. On May 11, 2013, I lay there in that bed in ICU. Vivian says I was conscious and responsive, though not making any sense when I talked. I can only say that I have no memories of it. I was in the Twilight Zone. I couldn’t stand on my own. I couldn’t walk. I was incontinent x2 – that means, in medical terminology, that I voided my bowels and bladder involuntarily. I was a mess. May God richly bless my wife who never left my side until I was released to go to the rehab hospital on May 14.
In contrast, this very morning I walked a full mile and what I call “dogtrotting” a quarter mile. Now my dogtrot is not a thing of beauty – it’s simply a fat man shuffling along at a pace that is barely the equivalent to my wife’s fast walk. But it’s a whole lot faster than this fat man walks. It feels like my hair is streaming away from my face and I have to be careful to keep my mouth closed so I don’t get bugs in my teeth. For me, it’s shucking and jiving right along. I am able to walk further and I have and I can dogtrot further and I have, but this combo is working wonders for me right now as my daily regimen. It’s on uneven ground which makes it even tougher for me.
Yeah, I’ve had to do a lot of work, therapy and exercise, falling down and stumbling around, but I am completely aware that it is God at work in me. I glory in what the Lord has done. What Satan planned for evil to me, God planned good to come out of it. And guess what, God’s plan worked. Satan’s did not.
When people ask me how I’m doing, I tell them “God is blessing me all over. And when you’re as fat as I am, that’s a whole lot of blessing going on. He’s got to break out the large trowel for that job.”
I want to close with James 1:2-4 from God’s Word for the Nations Translation, “2 My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways. 3 You know that such testing of your faith produces endurance (my note – this means cheerful endurance). 4 Endure until your testing is over. Then you will be mature and complete, and you won't need anything.”
That’s the reason Paul wrote to the Philippians in 4:4, “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”
"We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
A Little About Us