I fell out of a chair and re-injured my ankle. The same ankle that’s been giving me grief for years and often flares up, leaving me limping and in pain.
Let’s not discuss how it’s even possible to fall out of a chair while sitting. I’d like to think I have the grace and agility of a jungle cat but my kids have informed me it’s more akin to one of those fainting goats whose muscles freeze when in a state of stress resulting in them dropping straight to the ground with their helpless legs paralyzed in the air above them. That was pretty much the state they found me in when I smacked against the floor and they found me rolling around in agony. Kids keep you humble, man.
This current bout of pain and limping is comical in many ways but many times the physical, mental, and emotional trials in my life have felt insurmountable. There are times when it’s hard to imagine God’s goodness in the face of suffering, and grace does not seem sufficient for the weakness inherent in these jars of clay. You’d think a better option would be stainless steel, something that won’t rust or crack or wear out. A nice new body with jungle cat reflexes and no stretch marks would just be a bonus. But God chose the weak to shame the strong and I’m nothing if not an example of that.
When we are weak, He is strong. It’s a pithy verse we like to trot out and plop down when someone else is suffering. We like to talk about how God works all things for good, especially when it’s not our circumstances that are a mess. Don’t get me wrong, these things are all true, as God’s word says, but it’s just human nature to want to tidy things up when someone close to us is expressing doubt, or loss, or grief. It doesn’t mean we have bad intentions or that we’re hurtful people, sometimes we honestly think we’re helping but as someone who has been on the receiving end of a lot of “let go and let God’s” and “sometimes God shuts a door and opens a window” pep talks, it can feel a little tone-deaf. Especially if that’s all we’re ever hearing from people.