The Great Physician Shows Up at Tres Dias
By Frank Yarbrough
In 2004 the doctors told me I would never work again. My medical history is long and complicated. Here’s the short version: Multiple neck surgeries, plates and screws from the C3 to C7 vertebra, spinal stimulator surgically implanted in my back and neck, removed later when numbness spread from waist to toe and temporarily paralyzed me on my left side. Side affects: radiating nerve damage.
Not work again? I was devastated. I kept attending church, but my heart wasn’t in it. There’s something about being at your wit’s end that makes you willing to try anything. When my pastor suggested I attend Tres Dias, I said, ‘Sign me up.”
I arrived on the campground overweight, bent over from pain and unable to raise my arms above my shoulders or bend past my knees. I weighed 240 pounds. I hadn’t slept on a bed in over a year. I was gobbling down 32 pills a day: muscle relaxers, depression medications, plus 40 milligrams of Methadone three times a day with Percocet in between.
Somehow I had forgotten one of my needed pain meds. Talk about panic. “Someone will go back and get them for you,” I was told. I declined the offer. “God got me here. He’ll get me through it.” I prayed it was true.
My seat in the Rollo room was closest to the door, with my cane propped up against the wall. Each time we left the room, my table cha handed me my cane. By Saturday afternoon, I noticed something strange. I could walk to the chapel without it. It seemed as if, the more I released the junk inside, and the more I depended on the Lord’s power, the stronger I felt.
As the weekend progressed, I felt more and more limber. I began to let go of more hurt, resentment and anger. I became willing to forgive those who had wounded me. At the end of the weekend, I was able to walk without my trusted cane. I could lift my arms above my head. I could even touch my toes.
And I had slept soundly on a bunk for three nights.
When my wife picked me up, she was shocked. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing,” she said. I was carrying my cane as well as my suitcase. She noticed not only the physical change, but my whole demeanor. “This is not the same man I left on Thursday night to go on a Tres Dias weekend,” she said.
That’s for sure. Now, it’s eight years later. I’m fifty pounds lighter and no longer on Methadone or even depression medication. I still take something for the pain, but nothing like before. Some days are easier than others, but God has proven that He is my provider, my healer and my strength.
Tres Dias is described as a tool that God uses to implement change in our lives. For me, it gave me hope for a future, and the determination to get out there and make a difference. I’m working in my church, the New Horizon Church of God in Augusta, Georgia as a councilman and sound technician. I have even served as the President of the Central Savannah River Area Tres Dias and Vice-President of membership for the International Secretariat.
Never work again? The doctors got that wrong. God has blessed me so much. He’s the Great Physician, the answer to our problems, and still in the miracle business.