The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Many of you walked through the journey of the knee replacement with me. The first few weeks were tough. The pain was great and physical therapy brought me to tears many times. There were so many things that I could not do. I could barely bend my knee. I was convinced I would never be normal again. Pain meds tend to mess greatly with my psyche and emotionally I was a hot mess! There were tasks that were very difficult for me. I first walked with a walker, then a cane and finally was able to walk on my own. I could go up and down the stairs, but only one step at a time. When I first began to drive, just a 5 minute drive to pick my daughter up at school would cause great pain.
Somewhere along the line things started to get easier. It was gradual, not all at once. Because it was gradual, I overlooked some of my improvement. I remember when I had driven in the car for 1/2 hour and it hit me, I wasn't in pain anymore. All of the sudden I realized I was walking up and down stairs normally. When had that happened? I could sit for longer periods of time in one position and needed to ice less and less. Just 3 months out and I am able to do almost any exercises I want to do (emphasize the want...I am not supposed to run, to extend the life of my knee...not a heart breaker for me!!!).
Like my physical healing took time and was a gradual process, I have found that God works in this same way with the emotional hurts in my life. God is near to the brokenhearted. When we hurt and we reach out to Him, He is there to be our comfort in a way that defies logic. I have in the past been sitting on the sofa, crying out to God, and somehow while reading his Word and talking with Him, the cry of my heart changes to singing a song of praise. Not because things had changed. But because God was near me and was giving me the comfort only He can give.
While God gives us great comfort in the moment, that does not mean He will fix everything right then and there. And our ideas of fixing and His may look very, very different. I can remember as a young child crying out for God to fix some very legitimate hurts in my life. I was hurting deeply and I had my own idea of how to fix it all. God said no. There was a lot of hurt because He said no. My heart was broken over and over and it shaped who I am today. God doesn't just leave us in that hurt. Something neat happened the other day. As I was getting out of the car I thought "gosh, this doesn't hurt anymore". For the longest time getting in and out of the car was painful. Often we are more aware when something hurts than when it doesn't. With pain the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" applies. We need to take a step back and take inventory of our lives. What has God brought us through? Are we forgetting to be thankful for things in our lives that He has delivered us from?
Those times God said "no" to me as a little girl were tough. But as I started to take an inventory, I realized that He had healed those hurts in some amazing ways. Much of it had to do with my relationships with some people very close to me. I couldn't help but smile as I thought about the way God had healed not only my heart, but my relationships. He was near to my broken heart and gave me great comfort, but did not leave me there. I had to do my work. Forgiveness needed to happen. Growth and maturity needed to occur. I needed to change my outlook and my heart. I asked God for all of those things. I asked Him to change me. Even when our mind wants things to change now, there are just some things that need time.
What has God delivered you from? Have you taken an inventory lately? It's so natural for us to focus on our momentary troubles. Pain is real and it just doesn't feel good! Your pain may be out of sight, but don't let the gift of deliverance be out of mind. Take time to praise God today for the things he has brought you through. You may just be surprised.