Statistics indicate that 80% of people have trouble with their back at some point in life. Our spine affects every aspect of life, but a healthy back is often taken for granted. Being in the second half of my first century (read that 50+ in age), my back talks to me more frequently and with greater insistence these days. Recently, unable to tie my shoes easily and tired of limping and my gimping my way about, I humbled myself to consult with a physical therapist. After giving him my verdict of hip problems connected to scoliosis, he gave his educated diagnosis…bulging discs pressing on the sciatic nerve. I really didn’t like his opinion.
But his treatment plan was simple enough to try, so rather than follow my prideful natural response, I laid face down on the floor and did the series of raises he prescribed. Within two days, the results shocked me. My mobility increased dramatically. I had not even noticed the stealthy incapacitating creep of weakness. It was not until the function began to return that I realized the ways my back problems were limiting my life. Suddenly, I saw it: when I trust in me instead of God, I limit all that He intends to do in and through me. The back was my real-world look at a spiritual truth God had been pressing on me for ages. The solution to both problems is the same: face-down on the floor and step-by-step obedience!
Stubborn folks like me are all too common. We want to operate on our own power and make up for our own deficiencies. God has been revealing my weaknesses the entire 20 plus years I have walked in submission to him, but I am a slow learner. I praise His patient instruction. Taught to work hard and carry my own weight, those natural tendencies lead me to trusting myself far too much. On a good day, my “A” game gets me where I want to go…but my “A” game never asks the Father for directions. I just turn to him for approval when I’m done. That is not the plan He desires for me to follow. We’ll leave the discussion of what happens when I am not on my “A” game for another devotion! Pride and self-reliance must bow before our Glorious God!
Relying on my own abilities maims my spiritual walk as effectively as a damaged physical back limits my earthly walk. My trust in the Father is growing; this journey to freedom that comes by leaning on Him is gradual. There is hurting world that needs every Christian functioning to the best of our ability. Proverbs 3 gives the only plan we need: trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding. Let’s lean on Him and follow His plan!