Steve Brines – Ahwatukee Student Pastor
So my three-year-old daughter just had her pink cast removed from her leg about two weeks ago, and she is just now beginning to walk normally again. I thought it would be instantaneous once her cast came off. Boy was I wrong!
After five weeks of scooting on the floor, riding in a stroller, and being carried everywhere by mom and dad, her left leg muscles needed to remember what it’s like to power an active toddler! My initial strategy for accomplishing this was to simply say to Elona, “Alright, the cast is off! Let’s go! Pick up your mat and walk!” It didn’t really work that way though.
She reverted back to scooting and wanting to be carried. In her mind, the last time she put her weight on that leg she was in serious pain. Her challenge was just as much mental as it was physical.
She had the ability to take a step, but she was afraid.
Have you ever wanted someone you cared about to take a significant step in his or her life, but they weren’t taking it?
-A step to surrender their life to Christ
-A step to quit smoking or stop drinking
-A step to reconcile a relationship
-A step to quit their job and pursue their passion
Maybe they were too afraid to do it. Maybe they just weren’t getting it. Maybe the memory of a past pain is still fresh. Maybe they just didn’t want to take that step.
In those moments it’s easy for us to become discouraged and consumed with negative thoughts. When Elona was still scooting along the floor, without her cast, there were moments when I found myself wondering, ‘What if she never walks again?”
Have you found yourself feeling similar thoughts? What if they never give their life to Christ? What if they never change? What if? What if? What if?
Those negative, fatalistic thoughts never help us, but do damage to our outlook and attitude. Our challenge is just as much mental as it is physical.
Psalm 37 gives us the solution and the reason not to let the discouragement get the better of us.
“Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for him to act …. Don’t fret and worry — it only leads to harm” (Psalm 37:7-8 TLB)
You see, a few days after feeling discouraged, Elona went to her class at church. Her teacher just happens to be a physical therapist (not a coincidence), and she worked with my daughter during the service to start putting weight on her leg. Elona began to trust her leg enough to take a step here, and a step there. And let me tell you, my heart was happy to see it that morning! She just needed to hear a different voice with a different perspective.
What if I had given into those thoughts and just kept Elona home from church that day thinking, “Oh, she’s just not getting it. What’s the point in even trying? Let’s keep her home a few more days.” Man, I would have missed out on those breakthrough steps!
If you’re in the waiting room right now with God, be encouraged that you could be just a short time away from an incredible God story. He is the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2) and He’s never behind schedule. God is above time itself, but the cool thing is He still acts within time. He hears our prayers. He acts on our behalf.
So today, wherever you find yourself wondering, “Will it ever happen?”, fight back by simply:
-Refusing to worry
Just take one step at a time.