I knew the sensation. The last time I pulled this particular back muscle, twenty years ago, I was competing in a league tennis match and teammates had to carry me off. This time I was in my living room and cried out to my husband, “Help, I can’t get up!”
My first thought was: I don’t have time for a back injury. I was supposed to go to work yesterday. I wanted to take a morning walk. I needed to pick up the house before I left. All of the “to do’s” flooded my brain. This setback was cramping my style. But sometimes, the Lord “makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:2).
Has God ever allowed you to be out of commission for a “reset?”
Loaded up on Advil and resting on a heating pad, I was still able to do some work, but I was also able to reflect on why this happened. God doesn’t waste anything.
It gave me more time to pray. In particular, I prayed for the flood victims in Houston. I asked God to show me how I could help. After injuring my back, I knew the kind of help I offered would not be physical in nature. Did he want me to send money to assist in the rebuilding? Then I received a call from a friend in San Antonio. She was putting backpacks together for some of the children who are stuck in San Antonio shelters. She asked if I’d donate some of my Most Powerful P books. I saw this as an immediate answer to my prayer. At first I said I’d give her twenty. That was $200 worth of books. Then I thought, That’s not enough. I heard the number “fifty.” Ouch! God was stretching me. When I told her I’d give “fifty” she said, “That’s the number of backpacks I felt we were supposed to put together.” There was a lot of back and forth. If I hadn’t been bedridden, I am not sure I would have heard God’s call to increase the number. When I reflect on this I am thinking, What better book for children going through a crisis than one that teaches them about the power of prayer?
God’s ways are not our ways. Mail was piling up on our bedroom dresser. I disdain going through paperwork. I like things clean, but mail and paper clutter are my downfall. I literally prayed, prior to the back injury, that I would be motivated to go through all the mail. When you’re unable to move around, weeding through mail is a good project. God answered my prayer in an unusual way.
I made contact with other people. I am a people person but sometimes I am so busy, I cannot keep up with my contacts. I met some incredible women at an International Women’s Conference over the weekend, and I didn’t want to let them slip through the cracks. I followed up and set up appointments to meet again.
It forced me to rely on others. I am a very independent person. I don’t like asking people for assistance. It’s easier for me to assist. However, I was dependent on my husband, Jeff, to bring me the various items I needed during the day. One of the reasons I was in this state was because I did not rely on Jeff. I was searching for something lost and needed help moving heavy boxes in the garage. He told me to wait on him to help. But in my mind he wasn’t helping fast enough so I took matters into my own hands. Impatient, with a little anger thrown in, I moved the boxes myself and set the stage for my back injury. Now, I was forced to wait on Jeff. An interesting paradox.
So the next time you suffer an injury or you are required to take it easy, there may be a reason behind it.
Embrace the stillness.
Ask God how to spend the time.
Be open to His leading.
You don’t always have to be busy to bear fruit.
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
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Categories: Devotion of the Week