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Healing for your bones

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What I learned from walking on a broken leg

The day after Christmas, my sister talked me into going ice skating. It had been years since I’d laced up a pair of skates, but I took to the ice like a pro. Okay fine, not exactly like a pro. But I was skating quite well and having a great time, and that’s when I learned the main difference between me and the professionals: professionals have been trained how to fall without twisting their ankle and fracturing their leg. That’s right — five minutes before our skate time was up, this is exactly what I did.

As I went down, I knew it would be a bad fall. I wondered if I would break something. But I was able to get up and walk away. I was in pain and my leg was swollen, but no one with me thought it was broken. And let’s face it. I didn’t want it to be broken. I didn’t want to spend the night in an ER waiting room; I didn’t want this to slow me down. So, I decided to take some ibuprofen, apply ice, and keep an eye on it — if it got worse, I’d go to the doc. But it didn’t get worse. It got better. After two days, my limp was gone. After three, I was back at the gym. If I took it easy, I didn’t have any pain.

They say hindsight is 20/20, and looking back, of course I can see signs that I should have had this checked out, but at the time, they were easy to ignore. It was easy to rationalize why it would still be hurting — why my ankle was still swollen. You don’t fall that hard and not have pain, right? After three weeks of telling myself I didn’t need to slow down — that I could push through this — I finally gave in and decided to see the doctor. More for peace of mind than anything.

That was three and a half weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been in a cast up to my mid thigh, hobbling around on crutches. And let me tell you one thing I’ve learned — if God needs to slow you down, he can do it. I’m not suggesting that God caused my fall, but I am saying that he used it. He used it to get my attention. To give me some time to pray, listen, and think.

One thing I realized during this time is how we often ignore sin in much the same way I ignored my injury. Think about it. When God begins to bring sin issues to our attention, it’s easier to ignore them or make excuses than face up to them. If we admit to them, that means we have deal with them, and dealing with the sin in our lives is messy, unpleasant, and downright inconvenient. We want to continue with our normal routine. Addressing sin would simply rock the boat.

The thing is that, much like my injury, sin won’t go away just because we ignore it. We can try to convince ourselves that it’s getting better. We can clean up our lives just enough that the outward signs of it our gone. But unless we’ve addressed the heart issue, the pain, division, and dissatisfaction caused by sin will remain.

God used my injury to show me some areas where I’d been ignoring sin in my own life. He used it to show me that my focus was off. I was pursuing other things with the vigor and attention that should have been focused on him. My injury forced me to take a break from some of these things and to look at my heart. And it gave me time to re-focus my attention back on God. And so, I’m thankful. Having a broken leg sucks, and hobbling around on crutches is a drag. But having a God who loves me enough to call me out on my crap, encourage me to face up to my sin, and draw me closer to himself, is pretty awesome. For that, I’m thankful.

A week or so ago, I came across a verse in Proverbs 3 that reads, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing for your flesh and refreshment for your bones.” I’d read the verse before, but it took on a whole new meaning when I literally had a broken bone. And I think it gets to the core of what God’s been teaching me. Making excuses for, or ignoring, sin is human wisdom. If I’m wise in my own eyes, then I’m too proud to admit when God calls me out on my sin. But if I honestly fear God, I’ll want nothing more than to address my sin issues and turn from the evil in my heart. And that’s my prayer, that as God continues to bring physical health and refreshment, he’ll also work on my heart, stripping me of “self wisdom” and giving me the strength to turn away from sin.

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Written by liferenewed

February 11, 2011 at 12:51 am

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