Last summer, one of my girls was lifeguarding and on her way to her station, she hopped off a short retaining wall (probably only 40 cm or 18 inches tall). The sloping lawn led to the wall and at the bottom was soft sand. As soon as her feet landed in the sand, her life changed. As the sand gave way to her landing, her lower leg went one way and her upper body the other, effectively destroying her ACL (the stabilizing ligament in her knee). Knowing that she was in a bad way, she hobbled to her post to try to finish her shift.
This young woman has spent countless hours training and preparing to be a lifeguard. She has spent a lifetime learning how to walk; and yet in an instant, everything she knew became meaningless and she was helpless.
How like our lives. We invest infinite hours preparing for what we think we should be doing and suddenly – everything changes. It could be injury or relationship or finances or employment; change – especially when it is not according to our plan is challenging, frightening and even overwhelming. We question, “What now” and can be inclined to worry or discouragement.
After my daughter’s injury, she spent a couple of weeks curled up in a ball, hurting and crying; afraid to move lest the pain get worse. We needed help. They doctors told her she was going to hurt, but that there were things that she could do to begin to heal.
Step one: physio therapy. She had to learn to move again in a safe way.
Step two: a brace. She needed more support than she could provide herself.
Step three: surgery. What was broken needed to be healed.
Step four: recovery. This won’t be quick or easy, but it will happen.
This process is true for so many things in our lives that are hard.
Step one: you cannot and do not have to go through this alone. Let others who care for you help you get back on track.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Step two: you are not strong enough. Period. However, God heals the broken and He will sustain you – if you let Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Step three: Some things in your life might need to be excised or repaired before you can truly heal. What is it that is hurting you? Have you given it to God yet?
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
They will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.
Step four: Relearning perspective, growing in faith, making decisions that will lead you forward is a process. It doesn’t happen all at once. There will be set backs and struggles. Keep going. This is a journey.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Four our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We have been months in steps one and two with my daughter. Today is step three. Even though the surgery is the most ‘dramatic’ part of this journey, it is actually faster than everything else – except the injury. The injury happened in a split second. The surgery is only two hours. The physio, brace and recovery will be months and perhaps years to accomplish. There will be difficult days ahead, not only for my girl, but for our whole family. Days that may include doubt of healing, pain and restlessness. However, they will all be days of healing. This healing is a choice. If she had made the decision to stayed curled up in that ball, her healing today would be so much harder.
Are you struggling with something today that is hurting you? Are you so discouraged that you don’t know where to begin to look for healing? The very first step is to look to the Healer and let Him be a part of your journey.
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.