I’m lying in the hospital on IV pain medicine with my right knee unable to support me. I thought, “I can’t believe this is happening to me. I was just playing tennis and working out five days a week, now here I am in a hospital bed and I can’t even stand up. They said all would go smoothly and that after a five-day stay and back surgery, I’d be up and moving in six weeks…” Of course, nobody plans for life’s complications; they just seem to find you.
This past year has been one of the most physically trying years of my life. Not only did I herniate two discs in my back (accompanied by severe pain and nerve problems in my legs), I also developed a nerve problem in my lungs that affected my breathing. How did everything go from being so good to being so bad, so quickly?
On more than one occasion I admit to thinking, “Why me?” I knew that I was doing all I could do and it was up to God to do the rest, but it was so difficult waiting and watching for God to break through on my behalf.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months with very little progress and, actually, more setbacks! It was in this place that I fully realized that it is in trials, setbacks, and unwanted circumstances that God does His best work!
The whole time I was going through this I thought it was God testing my faith in Him. Would I still trust, serve, love, and worship God when my faith was tested? Would I give up or press on, grow stronger or walk away, hold onto my faith when tested or give it all up? Then the real test was revealed to me: it wasn’t my faith in God that was being tested, God was testing His faith in me.
I realize this seems totally counterintuitive, but allow me to explain. I believe that God allowed me to go through these things to see how much He could trust me. How much testing could I go through? How far would I bend without breaking? Because until God knows how much He can trust me, He can’t give me more. God was increasing my capacity. And before it could happen in my life and ministry, it had to happen on the inside of me.
You never know what God is doing through your circumstances. My suggestion: don’t take it personally and don’t doubt God. Just remember, what is happening IN you, is more important than what is happening TO you!
Little did I know that ten months after this whole ordeal started our church would be launching not just one campus, but also re-launching an existing church to be a part of ours! We went from three locations to five, all at once! God was increasing my leadership sphere, abilities, and expanse.
As of this writing, I just finished a four-mile walk. If I can be faithful to walking, I believe I can get back to doing everything I was doing over a year ago!