I have been a pastor for just over 6 1/2 years now (hard to believe sometimes). During that span I have never woken up on a Sunday morning feeling sick (knock on wood). I have woken up tired after getting to bed late the night before or just not sleeping well, but I have never been sick on a Sunday morning…until yesterday.
When I went to bed on Saturday night my stomach wasn’t feeling that great but I figured I would sleep it off. As the night wore on I wasn’t getting better. I wasn’t feeling nauseated but I was still in the bathroom a few times (I won’t elaborate on that). After a very long night my alarm went off at 5:30am. I was shot. I had absolutely no energy. I laid in bed and prayed, “God…I have no energy. There is no way that I will get through this morning on my own power. I feel like crap. Please grant me the energy I need to lead these two worship services this morning. I need you.”
After some arguing with myself I finally rolled out of bed. My programmable coffee maker was doing its job so I made a bee line for the kitchen for a cup of coffee. I couldn’t drink it…believe it or not the coffee just didn’t taste good. You know something is wrong with me when I can’t drink coffee. I got ready and headed over to the church. I got into the pulpit and ran through my sermon. I could feel the lack of energy in the sermon and I prayed again that God would give me the energy that I needed so that God’s Word would be preached despite Satan’s best efforts to keep me from doing so.
At about 7:30am I went back to the house and laid down on the couch (I need to leave for Belmont Lutheran Church by 8am). I tried not to fall asleep because I knew I might not wake up until it was too late. I laid there in a fog and prayed some more. I finally got up at 7:50am. My stomach was feeling a little better and I had a little more energy (but still not 100%). My wife was concerned about me driving the 8 miles out to Belmont but I assured her I would be fine.
Worship at Belmont began at 8:30am and I was feeling good. Not once during the worship service did I think about not feeling well. My energy seemed to return and I preached the sermon with my normal energy and passion (at least that is what it felt like to me). Worship at Salem was at 10:15 and I was still going strong. Salem’s annual meeting followed worship and then our famous potluck. I got home after 12noon and was out like a light by 12:30pm for a 2 hour nap.
So my streak continues…by the grace of God. There is no way I could have survived Sunday without God by my side. I know that if I were sick enough that I couldn’t go, someone would have stepped up and worship would have still happened. But on Sunday God wanted me there and so it happened ~ by the grace of God.