December 8th started out a normal day. I had a little bit of a cold, but I felt generally good. I went to get a massage; I went to where my wife worked, and I did what I normally do. It was a normal day. December 9th; however, did not start as normal. I had problems walking; I had problems with the room spinning. I thought I had vertigo. After much deliberation and many calls to the hospital, it was agreed that I should go to ER.
At first the hospital thought I had spinal meningitis, but that diagnosis turned out to be false. That is all I remember. It turns out I was having a stroke. Not a minor one either, but I had an “intracranial hemorrhage”. If one were to take all strokes, 80% would be caused by a blockage or a clot. Only 20% are caused by a hemorrhage inside the brain. Most of those are in people 55 or older. I was truly a rare case so Dr. Piper at Iowa Methodist hospital agreed to take me on.
When I was having the stroke my wife, Laura, asked me if I was scared. I said, “No.” Then she said, do you think an average sensible person would be scared. I said, “Probably.” I woke up; all I can remember is my wife telling me all about someone in the church who had a stroke. I tried to think of all the people that had a stroke; then I thought that I was the only person in a hospital bed. She must be talking about me!
I said all that for this purpose, I had a major stroke on
God is good, regardless of what happens to me
Philippians 1:3 says “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you...” No matter what would have happened to me, God still would have been good. (I am glad that things worked out for me, but they don’t work out for every person). But God would have been the same regardless of what happened with me. I wanted my wife and kids to know that. If I would not have survived surgery (which was a distinct possibility); even if I never would have woken up (which was also a distinct possibility), or even if I never had been the same (which was a third but a distinct possibility) God would have been the same. No matter what happened to me, God would be the same God. The scriptures say that “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) I want you to know that, regardless of your situation, God is still the same.
God is perfectly capable of caring for my family, even if I am not here.
Where would I go? Would I stay in
God is still able to work miracles, if we will only believe in Him
More than anything else I learned that God can do whatever He wants to do. I have said it in church many times but now I don’t just say it, I believe it. God can do ANYTHING He wants to if we will just believe Him. I cannot tell you the number of Pastors that came to visit me during my stay. A conservative estimate would say that 50 or more members of my church came for my surgery. From the first church I pastored, I believe that 15 or more people drove the