When You Lose Your Health...

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If we lose our health, then we lose the strength and energy to live as we desire. Change is inevitable.

My wife’s father used to say, “When you lose your health, you lose everything.” Although not true in an ultimate sense, he had a measure of wisdom. He had to take early retirement because of a back injury. As a result he was restricted in mobility for the rest of his life. What I sense he was trying to say is that if we lose our health, we lose the strength and energy to live as we desire. We may have to change vocations. We may have to retire early. We may not be able to pick up grandchildren. We may tire more easily and get frustrated when we cannot perform simple tasks such as climbing a ladder or working in the yard.

A year ago those words came back to me. On March 6, 2012, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. My life came to a halt. I found out I could take time off from work. I found out that the absolutely necessary work could be done by someone else. I found out I could function and be at peace without working 60 hours a week.

For months my wife had been urging me to slow down and do less. But who could do my work better than me? Besides I love my work. I get to travel all over our state encouraging and training pastors and other leaders. Then on weekends I often have preached in churches and served as an interim pastor. It is not like I was ineffective. God was blessing my work, and churches seemed stronger as a result of my journey with them.    

But I had a brain tumor! Change was inevitable even if I did not like it. Even if I did not want it, change was forced on me. I felt as helpless as trying to stop the tide from coming ashore.

Written by Dr. Alan Woodward

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