The first surgery I ever had was back when I was a child. My sister and I went into the hospital and had our tonsils removed at the same time. Pretty much all I remember, apart from lots and lots of ice cream, is waiting until night time when the hallways were empty and then running down the length of the slick hallway floors and sliding sideways and backwards in our socks. (Sort of like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.)
The second time was when I had a hernia repair in my thirties. I owe that one to trying to prove how much I could bench press, squat, and deadlift while in my twenties!
This last surgery was the result of something else I did in my twenties. My neighbor and I both lived in houses owned by the church where we were employed. One night, a powerful storm came through and blew over a tree in his yard. While helping him cut up that tree, I managed to strike a glancing blow against a limb with the ax I was wielding. In the process, I split my big toe on my left foot open lengthways, much like a hot dog bun.
Even though it was stitched back together at the time, the damage had been done. Thus, unbeknownst to me, for decades now, I have been compensating for the weaker big toe by using the second toe of my left foot to push off with each step I have taken. The result was that the ligaments holding my second toe in place eventually tore loose and had to be re-attached surgically.
The good news is that the doctor seemed to know exactly what my problem was from the time he saw my foot. And according to him, all went well in the procedure he later performed. As a result, after a week or two, I should be back to normal and walking just fine.
I share all of this for a reason. I have always prided myself on being fairly self-sufficient. Like a lot of people, I try not to be a burden to others. Normally, therefore, if I have problem, I just address it on my own. But when incidents like this periodically come my way, they serve to remind me that I cannot solve every single issue in life on my own. Simply put: there are times when I need other people.
The same is true of all of us. While it is commendable to be self-sufficient, God did not make us to live all alone. He made us to live interdependently with others. We were meant to be part of a community. And in this community, there will be times when my neighbor needs me just as there will be times when I need my neighbor.
I am thankful that during my hour of need, others have risen up to assist me. From doctors to nurses to family and church members, others have used their respective skillsets to help me get better. And in turn, I know that God has equipped me with certain gifts that I must employ whenever my neighbors may find themselves in need.
It is likely that the Apostle Paul had just such things in mind when he told the Galatian Christians (in chapter 6, verse 22): “Help carry one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
In the future, whenever I find my neighbor in need, I pray that I will be as faithful to step up and help to meet his or her need as others have been for me in this, my own time of need!
And may Jesus Christ be glorified in the process!
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/galatians/6-2.htm.