It’s smaller than a grain of sand, but what a wallop it packed.

It all started on Monday, December 12th. I began to feel some serious pain on the left side of my stomach and back and over the next day or two, it got increasingly worse. The pain got so bad that I visited the ER twice in two days. I have never in all my life experienced the intensity of pain I was going through. More than one person told me that it very well may be what a woman goes through giving birth. 

The trips to the ER  (with many pictures taken) and a visit with my urologist confirmed that a tiny (and I do mean tiny—less than 2 MM kidney stone) was moving on down the “road.” I heard everything from 24 hours to 30 days for it to pass. I was assured it would pass, but given no assurances as to how long it might take.

So from Monday, Dec 12 until Sunday night December 18th, I was for all practical purposes taken out of the battle. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t really do anything but lay there and pray—for 6 1/2 days. When I asked if there was something  more powerful they could prescribe to reduce the pain I was told “no,” that what they gave me (Oxycodone-Percocet) was the strongest they could offer—it wasn’t working at all until maybe Saturday the 17th.   

I just had to wait until the rolling stone made it’s exit. 

Experience is the best teacher is not true. Evaluated experience is the best teacher. What good is experience if I don’t learn from it and change what I can. 

So, here are a few thoughts in my head as I reflect where I’ve been since December 12th:

  • I don’t handle pain well

I have had some physical pain in my life from time to time, but nothing like this. And as I think about what I went through (just a week or so) and compare it with the chronic pain some have lived with for years, I realize what a wimp I really am.  When you see actual pictures of soldiers in battle and the pain and discomfort (some loosing limbs) they endured, what I had to live with for a few days pales in comparison.  If I was ever captured by enemy forces, it wouldn’t take much to get information from me (just being honest with myself.) 

  • I hate to wait

I don’t like to wait for anything. I like quick solutions and quick answers, but  it doesn’t take long to understand that God is not in a hurry. When you walk with God, sometimes He seems to walk awfully slow. Some have suffered for decades with no easy solutions, no clear answers as to why, no relief—so what’s a week or so? I have committed more sin over the issue of impatience than any other one thing I can think of.

  • Small things can cause big problems

I keep looking at that little “puppy” and asking myself how could something that small cause problems so big. It impacted my ability, to eat, to sleep to think clearly, to want to do anything, to be able to breathe properly to have normal bowel movements.  Cmon-man.

Then I thought of sins I have let creep into my life, small and innocent as they may appear, which can, and have, caused great harm to me and others in my world. Small decisions can have great consequences. 

  • He is sovereign over my health and everything else in my life

A few months ago, I began to pray that I would have grace to trust that He is sovereign over: My health, my family, my finances and the work He has called me to do. When this stone hit, it was my opportunity to demonstrate that I believed He is sovereign over my health and will do things in His way and in His time and not feel obliged to do what I think.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55:8,9 ESV

I have to ask myself if I really believe that or not as it regards my health. I’m not going to live forever. Something, at some point, is going to get me. Will I be enabled to honor Him in poor health or gripe, complain, kick and scream?

On a very practical level, one thing I will be doing going forward is drinking lots more water every day. From everything I’ve been reading, I’ve concluded that stones don’t like water! 

I’m going to be a 2-3 quarts a day man.