Crutch or Crown?

By: Shawntay Warren

 

Almost two years ago, I fractured my leg playing flag football. That was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever had to experience to date. To add insult to injury, it happened at the most inopportune time–a mere six days before my 27th birthday. I had plans to really live it up and enjoy myself, but suddenly out of nowhere, I found myself on bed rest, popping painkillers and hobbling from room to room in my house. Talk about a setback…I really don’t have to tell you that I didn’t take that situation very well. Then there were the crutches. I swore those crutches were going to be the death of me. I didn’t have much upper body strength to begin with, but there I was left with no other choice than to carry all of my 100-something pounds of weight everywhere primarily by the strength of my arms. The worst part was hobbling up and down the stairs of my building (I live on the top floor of a building with no elevator). You can imagine the workouts I got just from doing simple things like getting the mail or just some fresh air! So that was my life for what seemed like an eternity.  On a daily basis, I watched the muscles in my legs gradually diminish from the lack of use. I often complained and felt sorry for myself because I am very into physical fitness. The inability to be active was pure agony…but then I began to notice something. While one part of my body was weakened, another part of me was getting stronger than ever. Soon, I began to appreciate the muscles in my arms, as well as the crutches that inspired my new-found strength in a place where I least expected.

In life, setbacks occur. They can attack us in our relationships, in our careers, in our churches, and even spiritually. What is important to understand is that God uses what we think are “setbacks” to make us pause and align ourselves with His will. This happens because we sometimes allow daily distractions to get us out of sync with God’s purpose for our lives. Suddenly, we stop waiting to hear His voice and we begin to rely on our own understanding when making decisions. Some of us even become arrogant and act like we don’t need God at all. God chooses to deal with His children in  different ways, but the way He tends to deal with me is through trials. It is through difficulty that God seems to get my attention the most. To be completely transparent, that is when my prayer life becomes fervent. All God wants is for us to keep Him at the center, and when I fail to do that, He tends to put me in situations where I have no other choice but to depend on Him.The good news is that the Lord cares for us and protects us, providing safety even when we are going through a tough time. Notice, I didn’t lose my leg. As painful and frustrating as it was, my leg remained mostly in tact. My periodofbrokenness was temporary, but it gave me an opportunity to develop in a place that I didn’t give much attention to before. When I began to see how my unfortunate circumstance was actually benefiting me, I started to view my crutches differently. I began to embrace them for their true purpose. And when the pain subsided and my healing was complete, I was eventually able to restore the muscles in my legs to point where I am now stronger than I’ve ever been:)

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee [shall] bow…and every tongue [shall] confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, NKJV)

When Jesus came down to earth to save us from our sins, He came down in the image of a servant. To the average man, he was an equal, not the Son of God. He was ridiculed, persecuted and eventually murdered; however, His perspective and unwavering faith in the face of difficulty allowed Him to complete the task at hand. The reward for His obedience was to be elevated above all things and to regain His rightful place with the Father. Right perspective is key to spiritual growth, deliverance and healing. When we look at things through the lens of faith, that is when God can work out the kinks in our lives. Faith in trials increases our strength to endure, and when it’s all said and done, we too will be restored and made stronger than ever before. On the other side of brokenness is power.  There will come a day when God will elevate us above the things that try to cripple us now and we will eventually receive our crown in Heaven. First, we must go through a period of brokenness and healing before God can bless and use us for His glorious purpose.

It is imperative to learn to trust the process, no matter how discouraging it can be. Make a decision today. Will you choose to let your circumstances cripple you or will you use this opportunity to draw closer to God, who is the source of all your strength??

Passages of Encouragement: 

 
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation. (1 Peter 5:10 NLT)Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  (James 1:2-4, NLT)

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2 Comments

Filed under Shawntay Warren

2 responses to “Crutch or Crown?

  1. Tammy A. Phillips

    Excellent. Thanks so much for sharing.

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