This past week I was reminded how thankful I am to be a part of such a loving and understanding congregation. For the second time in my time here I was physically incapable of completing the sermon that I had prepared for the saints here. The first time was a much “scarier” endeavor for all. I don’t really recall how I ended up on the front pew that morning. I just remember saying something about needing to sit down Thankfully, it was nothing more than a combination of dehydration and a high fever as a result of the H1N1 virus that I had caught. This past Lord’s day, I knew going in to the sermon what I was having issues with. Vertigo has been ruling my life for the better part of two months now. Although Sunday morning was the first time it affected me during a worship service. To be honest I don’t know what was more frustrating to me. The fact that I am suffering from vertigo or that myself perceived “armor” was torn off of me and I was shown for what I am… a flawed human with weaknesses. I hate not being a superman for my children and I hated them having to see their Dad crumble again on that front pew. As the spinning sensations continued, nausea hit, panic hit and that was why I raced out the door. I crumbled on that steps trying to gain my sense of direction so that I could walk back inside. My body would have none of it. I couldn’t will myself better (such a silly concept I know).
And you brethren, rather than growing frustrated with a weakened preacher showed love and compassion. (Not that it really surprised me). You got me home, safely. You did what was needed to fill in at the last minute. (and in doing so I was reminded, yet again I am not nearly as important as I sometimes allow myself to think). And most importantly, you called and checked up on me. I know that I didn’t talk to everyone that called, but every one of those phone calls was needed. It reminded me that you do care. So, in light of some of the lessons that Frederic Gray shared with us while here, I will change my focus and speak of three reasons why I am thankful for what happened this past Lord’s Day.
I am thankful for my vertigo attack because God did indeed remind me that the work can and will continue without me. This to me was one of the most important lessons that God taught Elijah as he groaned about wanting to die. God told him to get up and go to work. One of the three “jobs” he was given was to anoint his successor, Elisha. None of us are so important that God cannot find someone else to do the job. The power of God unto salvation is not the preacher. It is not the time he spent in preparing a lesson. It is not the PowerPoint presentation he put together. It is in His word. God’s word is what saves and any man can harness that power to bring lost souls to God and therein glorify the Almighty. I am thankful for my vertigo attack because God did indeed remind me that I am a part of a pretty amazing church family. Let me be honest. One of the things I struggle with is self worth. (I have shared that with you before). I have often wondered if the work which I do is making a difference. Would I be better off somewhere else. Days like last week remind me that I am a part of something special here. (Something that Frederic Gray thought when he left on Saturday). He kept telling me how much he needed to be here. How much it helped his faith grow. All that you have done for me and my family through the years amazes me. I have been a part of churches that honestly have sucked the life right out of my sails. (Other preachers that held meeting there felt the same way). To provide daily encouragement, to show daily concern for my well being is so encouraging.
I am thankful for my vertigo attack because God did indeed remind me that I need him. I have been told over and over by various doctors that I just have to “wait it out.” I am two months into this round of vertigo attacks and it is exhausting to say the least. I am honestly to the point that I am afraid to drive long distances lest I get caught on the side of the highway trying to make heads or tails of where the ground actually is. I am afraid that these vertigo attacks are going to increase in number and time. And I am afraid that it will impact more than one bible class/worship service. These fears I feel have been cast where they need to be. Upon God. These vertigo attacks have reminded me how important it is that I trust in God to get me through them. They remind me how important it is that I stop trying to will myself well and let God do what he does best… take care of those that love him by giving them what they need at the moment that they need it.
Grinnell church of Christ
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Volume 7 Issue 17