I cringed while listening to my professor describe the Remember When assignment, which involved interviewing a parent so that we could write a paper describing our developmental process. Certainly, this assignment wasn’t designed with a middle-aged graduate school student in mind! How could my parents remember back that many decades? Even if they could, I wasn’t keen on a trip down memory lane, especially after all the time spent processing and healing from the abuse that marred my childhood. Maybe you can relate?
I was relieved as my heart softened while listening to my mom recount all the good, like the love my grandparents poured out on me, alongside the hardships, like my numerous knee injuries in high school and college. Her empathy toward my suffering framed those memories in a whole new light, as I could see how God used the pain to draw me nearer to Him.
My last knee dislocation happened during my junior year of college while studying out of the country. Instead of being with my friends, I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, angry to be missing out once again and weary by another healing journey ahead. Tears soaked my face as I internally raged at God. I was officially done with “this cosmic genie in the sky” who seemed to throw thunderbolts however he saw fit.
But God wasn’t done with me.
He isn’t done with you, either, no matter the suffering you find yourself in today.
God uses everything, even the hardest things, to bring about His ultimate healing work.
While I was begging God for healing of my body, He was more concerned with deeper healing that involved the saving of my soul. A month after that horrible dislocation, my weak knees buckled again, but this time it was as I surrendered my life to Jesus, my Lord and Savior.
Yes, God sees our pain. Yet, He understands how suffering can cause us to wander in our faith and yet also search for more! This is where we find the recipients who heard firsthand the preaching found in the book of Hebrews. In the concluding chapters of this lengthy sermon, they are admonished to “Take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong” (Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT). These two verses, in the original Greek, read as, “Strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble and make straight paths for your feet so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”
Did you catch that? The “limb which is lame may not be put out of joint.” With my history of dislocated knees, I can testify that “out of joint” is painful! God knows that full well too. Whether we’re talking about our physical body, spiritual life, or the body of Christ at large, He is about the business of healing, as He takes what is out of joint and sets it right.
So, as you continue to face the hard from the past or the present, know that God sees you and knows what you’re going through. And while you might feel done with God, as I have many times, I pray that you can hear these words afresh: Take a new grip with your tired hands, strengthen your weak knees, and boldly invite God to tend to the dislocated and painful parts of your life as part of His healing work to align your life with His best.
Dear Lord, thank You for accomplishing Your healing work, even when we have no idea how You’re working in our lives. Thank You for pursuing us, even when we turn from You. Help us, Lord, in this commitment to take a new grip with our tired hands and strengthen our weak knees as we seek Your ongoing healing work in our lives.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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