Alive and Healing

January 01, 2007

New Year’s Day a year ago I was in the hospital, recovering from an emergency appendectomy.

I had abdominal pain the whole week between Christmas and New Year’s, not too bad, (I kept working) but bad enough that midweek I went to see the doctor. She told me she thought I might have appendicitis and to go to the emergency room if the pain got worse.

She ordered some labwork and x-rays, and we scheduled a CT scan for 4:45 Saturday afternoon.

I awoke early Friday morning. As I lay there evaluating my pain I decided it was getting worse. When I got up I packed things I would need for a stay at the hospital. Since the pain was still not too bad I went to work, taking my overnight bag with me.

About midafternoon I decided I should not put off going to the emergency room any longer, and that I should not wait for the CT scan until 4:45 the next day.

At the ER they did more lab work. When the doctor came in he was skeptical. “You’re not sick, no nausea, no vomiting, no diarrhea, no fever, even your white blood count is not elevated. You are not doubled over in pain, and, after poking around a bit, “the pain you do have is not even in the right place. No appendicitis here.” He did decide to do a CT scan right then anyway, for which I am very thankful.

The CT scan came back “acute appendicitis.” After consulting with the doctor, the surgeons came into my room. They too were skeptical saying, “Although the CT scan is fairly certain you just don’t have the rest of the symptoms to go along with it. You ought to at least be doubled over in pain. We are considering waiting until tomorrow to make a decision.” They did say it looked like there was “something” on the side of the appendix, maybe a growth of some kind, maybe cancer. And they did decide to go ahead and do surgery anyway, as soon as the one ahead of me was done.

When they got to it they found the appendix rotten, ready to disintegrate, with pus all around it. After removing it they had to flood the abdominal cavity to clean it. They gave me a strong antibiotic intravenously for 24 hours and encouraged me to get up and be active as soon as possible.

Some have said to me, “What a way to begin the New Year.” Yes, what a wonderful way, alive and healing. Praise God!

Many of us go along thinking we’re doing well, at times painfully aware of our shortcomings, but not overly concerned. We may appear to others as spiritually healthy, but when the Holy Spirit searches our hearts and minds, we are full of gangrene. We are caught up in our own little world of work, sports, entertainment, worldly cares, unconcerned about the plight of those about us, willing to put off coming to grips with our diseased condition, spiritually almost dead.

It’s time to go to the emergency room. It’s time to come to God for a heart transplant (Ezekiel 36:26-27). We need Him to really clean out our minds—flood them with new thoughts and desires—until we can say with Jesus, “I must be about my Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). We need Him to implant a zeal in us to encourage our brothers and sisters in the church, and to help others in our plight to find in Jesus the healing they need before it’s too late.

Let’s take strong antibiotics—God’s Word—daily and in-depth. Let’s get the exercise we need in claiming God’s promises, experiencing their fulfillment and sharing them with others so we can say, “Praise God, we are alive and healing!” Let’s not put it off any longer.