Yesterday, as I drove home from a good workout, I was feeling so thankful for some progress in regaining strength after my recent extended illness. I was also proud of myself for exercising every day of the week so far. I felt joy and hope like I haven’t felt for weeks!
Victory was mine!
Just as I reached our back door, I slipped on some ice, fell forward, and banged my knees hard on the cement step. Fear gripped my heart as I relived the tail-bone-breaking incident of what we now call Buttkill Falls.
I feared a major setback.
Eyes watering, I picked myself up and took a few tentative steps. My right knee hurt the worst, but I could still walk. It was scraped and already bruising. As I limped into the house, the internal monologue began…
Just like Adam and Eve, the original sinners, I wanted someone to blame, and my husband was the first victim.
I can’t believe he didn’t clear off this walk all the way! Doesn’t he know that’s not safe?! What if one of the kids fell….
But I didn’t stop there. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, free from the wrath of Egypt yet still not content, I began to question the Lord Himself.
Why, Lord? Are you really going to allow me to be injured again just when I’ve found a good rhythm with my health goals? Why am I being punished for doing what is right? I’ve worked so hard. Why didn’t you help me, keep me from falling?
So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”
But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” (empahsis mine)
As soon as the prideful thoughts entered my mind, I knew I was wrong – wrong to blame my husband, even more so, wrong to blame my Father God. And wrong to think that my “good efforts” excused me from any sort of pain or suffering.
You see, fear took over for a few moments.
I was afraid that another injury would keep me from meeting my health goals. I was afraid that another setback might discourage me to the point of giving up – a pattern that has repeated itself over and over again where my health is concerned.
I was afraid of failing.
I was afraid I would not be able to persevere!
Conviction stung my heart for such sinful thoughts, for my desire to lash out at someone else in my frustration. “I just want God to help me,” I tried to reason within myself.
But perhaps He already had…
Maybe His best help was to allow me to fall.
Yes, I mean it, truly. While it’s not wrong to be excited about the my progress, the Father gently showed me that, once again, I was beginning to rely on self alone rather than Him.
Perhaps I needed that fall to remind me that I will only conquer this battle with health and weight by His power and strength. I cannot do it on my own. Without even realizing it, I had slowly slipped back into my “can-do” attitude.
I can do it.
I’ve got this.
I don’t need You right now…
Does it sound familiar, friends? How many times a day do we catch ourselves relying on our own efforts instead of Him?
How many times do we deny the power of Christ in us, in favor of our own human strength?
How often do we place our trust in self alone?
You think I would have learned the lesson by now. He’s only been trying to teach me for the last thirty-plus years! It’s that work-in-progress that I’m always talking about – aiming toward progress instead of perfection.
I’ll make mistakes.
You’ll make mistakes, too, friends.
Sometimes the setback is a wake-up call to our own sin.
And often the best help our Father God can offer is letting us fall, just as we have to allow our own children to fall at times. It’s the most difficult, yet most loving thing we can do as parents, yes?
He lets us fall so that we might see our need, so that we might throw off self and run to His arms instead!
He lets us fall because He loves us too much not to.
It’s the best help He can give –
helping us turn from self to Savior!
Side note: My knees seem to be okay, Praise the Lord! One is a little swollen and bruised, but so far only injured externally, from what I can tell. I’m incredibly thankful for His mercy.
Sharing with: Grace and Truth