On a Friday evening last April, I stood up from my sofa to walk into another room. As I did, I caught my foot on a piece of furniture, and was catapulted into the air, falling and landing hard on my left shoulder. I knew as soon as it happened that it was a bad injury. At first, I could not sit up and I could not move my arm. I had to hold it close to my body with my other hand. The pain was intense. I spent the first few minutes with Ken praying, called a friend locally to ask for prayer, and then called a prayer line. But I still couldn’t get up. So I ended up with an ambulance ride to the hospital, and several hours later coming home with pain medication and a diagnosis of a shoulder broken in three places. It was an experience I will never forget, probably one of the most difficult challenges of my adult life.
So now, three and a half months later, after several doctor visits, and weeks of therapy, I am healing. I decided that even though a bad thing had happened to me, that truly something good could come of it. What have I learned from all of this? I sought God during this time for a “why,” which is what I always do. But I found out the “why” was simply the fact that our world is fallen, broken, and bad things happen to people, including me. None of us is exempt. But what we can do is learn and grow from the challenges we face. And I have done that. God has shown me things about myself personally during this time that need to change.
One of the most important things you have to do after an injury is physical therapy. Your muscles tighten around the fracture to keep the bone in place, and they harden in that position, making it almost impossible to use your limb. So you have to spend many hours in physical therapy, allowing them to pull and stretch and push on the fracture….not pleasant, but necessary. If you do not do that, you will not regain the use of the limb. it will stay useless.
You not only have to have therapy, but you have to do home exercises every day to reinforce the therapy and keep those muscles from hardening back. During this time, I have also been having my regular chiropractic treatments. Just last week, the Doctor explained to me why the home exercise is so important. He likened it to a rubber band that can be pulled out, but it always goes back to the original place. So the adhesions and scar tissue that form around a fracture want to stay that way. If you only work on stretching them out with two days a week of therapy, they will never heal. Again, it’s a daily discipline to work on stretching and exercising that is vital to the healing process.
As I pondered this, I saw a spiritual application for it. We all have those areas of our lives, personality, spiritual life, etc that need to be changed, stretched, formed into something better or even something completely different. We all have those areas of our lives that so easily capture us, and draw us away from God and His purposes. And just like those muscles and scar tissue that want to stay hardened around that fracture, we have to constantly work on those areas in our lives that draw us away, weaken our resolve, cause us to waste time, etc. It’s a daily, weekly, monthly effort, and discipline, and sometimes painful, but the rewards in this life and the life to come are many.
2 Corinthians 4:17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
Hebrews 12:1-21 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.