It was an accident, and I hold no grudges against those involved. I was not looking when the soccer ball was kicked, and the kicker did not know my attention was elsewhere. I did what anyone would do when they see a sixty-mile-per-hour projectile threatening his face, I made evasive maneuvers. Unfortunately, a pinched nerve in the back of my neck was the end result of my lightning-quick reflexes. In the long run, it would have been better to let the soccer ball smash into my face.
Here is the saga that ensued:
Day 5: It is hard to move my neck at all. The resulting pain shoots down my right arm and renders it useless. I have actually dropped items from my hand because of the pain. My prayers for relief begin. I doubt I’ve ever prayed for my own healing with such passion. “God, are you there?”
Matthew 4:23 (NIV): “Jesus went through Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”
Day 12: Work is almost unbearable. It takes me almost twice as long to perform any task. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor. Over-the-counter medication does little to relive the debilitating pain. It is impossible to find a comfortable position while sleeping. The pain affects my personality and temperament. “God, is this the life I was meant to have?”
Proverbs 8:32 (NASB): “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me. For blessed are they who keep my ways.”
Day 17: Doctors took X-rays and asked questions but offered no solutions. Prescribed medications do little to suppress the excruciating ache. I am becoming more depressed about my situation. “Do all believers have to live with such suffering?”
Romans 5:3 (KJV): “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience.”
Day 27: Nearly unable to perform my duties at work, I desperately pray for relief. I have not tasted agony very often in my life, but this never-ending discomfort is almost maddening. A Christian brother talked to me about a chiropractor who helped him. I have heard a lot of bad things about chiropractors, but I am willing to try just about anything at this point. “God, can you heal me?”
Luke 6:19 (English Standard Version): “And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.”
Day 32: I enter the chiropractor’s office. He has pictures of missionary trips to lands far away. He talks about healing. He talks about his faith. I feel a bit of hope for the first time in over a month. “Did you send me here, God?”
John 10:4 (New Life Version): “When the shepherd walks ahead of them, they follow because they know his voice.”
Day 44: The chiropractor has been able to relieve some of the pressure on the nerve trapped in my neck. I can perform my duties at work better than before. I smiled and laughed today. It’s been a while since I did that.
Matthew 14:31 (NKJV): “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”
Day 75: The pain is gone now. I am amazed at difference between agony and relief. I am more amazed at God’s ability to intervene on my behalf.
Colossians 3:15 (Darby Translation): “And let the peace of Christ preside in your hearts, to which also ye have been called in one body, and be thankful.”