The following is a guest post by Adam Tisdale, Pastor of North Hills Church in Meridianville, AL. Adam blogs at helpmyunbelief.wordpress.com about the intersection of his faith and his cancer.
“Man plans, God laughs” (Yiddish Proverb)
I’m not preaching this week, but that wasn’t my original plan. And I tend to love my plans. I wonder if God laughs at me – more like a sympathetic chuckle, I imagine. He knows my foolishness and loves me still. Even to alter my plans, even good plans, to accomplish His purposes. Thankfully, I’ll be preaching the week after. And then another week off, followed by a week on. And this is the pattern, which I did not want or choose, for the next 5 months or so.
Permit me to back up and explain.
Towards the end of February, I knew my preaching series on 1 John was going to be wrapping up and then Easter would follow shortly thereafter. At that time my biggest concern was trying to figure out was I was going to preach on for a few weeks and also for Easter (well, a little more specific than the Resurrection). I primarily preach expositorily through books of the Bible, alternating between Old and New Testaments. All of which means that I can struggle sometimes when I have finished a series, but it’s not profitable to start a new one yet.
The other plan I was working on was getting a break the Sunday after Easter. I was going to take a few days of study leave and head to the mountains of Northeast Alabama for some extended prayer, reflection, and study. I was really looking forward to that time, especially knowing there was going to be some exhaustion from preaching the previous 13 weeks. As an aside, I think it’s healthy, where possible, to get out of the pulpit every now and then on weeks that aren’t vacation weeks. With the elders’ approval, I began making those plans.
“The Record Scratch”
And then the record scratched. My record. My plans. There was a colonoscopy, endoscopy, & CT scan at the very end of February to determine the cause of some health symptoms. The very next day, I received the call that no one wants to receive and that this 36 year-old did not expect (at least before the tests). Colon Cancer was confirmed, with surgery immediately forthcoming the next week. I got one last sermon in before surgery. And then all my plans, preaching or otherwise vanished. Poof. Gone. Continue Reading…