Limping Through Life

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It was the day before Mother’s Day when it happened. And I can’t even explain how it occurred. All I know for sure is the end result: a black eye and a broken toe.

Somehow I ended up on the floor of my kitchen. On the way down my eye caught the partially opened dishwasher door, which briefly knocked me unconscious. After hearing all the commotion, my husband found me sprawled out on the floor.

As soon as I saw that last little piggy on my right foot, I knew it was broken. It was totally pointing at a 90% angle, away from the others. There’s not much to do for a broken little toe, except confine the whole foot to one of those bulky, plastic aircast boots. And there’s no way to hide a black eye, except to layer on the concealer.

Limping around with a plastic boot on my right foot and a black eye was humbling. All because of a fall I couldn’t explain. But actually I had been emotionally limping around long before the broken toe and the cast.

I had started feeling useless. Useless in God’s kingdom. Surely He wanted more of me.

Bible study was coming to an end, and the group of women in my small group I had grown to love over our nine-month period together would no longer be meeting on a weekly basis. The challenging studies would no longer be part of my daily routine. I wasn’t sure how to go forward.

The emotional limp began before having the excuse of a physical one. But once that boot became an everyday fixture, the heaviness in my heart and on my foot was only magnified. Trying to conceal my feelings of inadequacy worked for a while, but soon my close friends saw through the mask.

I was ashamed to admit that I was in a slump.

First—how silly is it that anyone walking with Jesus would think she needs to be doing more?

Second—I don’t need a Bible study to keep me engaged in the Word, just a Bible.

Third—I should know by now that there are always seasons and reasons for waiting.

Then, as only God can do, He used one of His faithful servants to speak to me. Sharon Jaynes shared a story via the on-line “Girlfriends in God” based on 2 Samuel 9:1-12. The story of David and Mephibosheth, King Saul’s grandson. The young man had been crippled from a fall as an infant and had felt unworthy his whole life.

“He was the grandchild of a king, but he was living in a pasture-less land like a pauper…he saw himself as nothing more than a ‘dead dog,’ unworthy to receive even the smallest crumb of kindness from David…Unfortunately, many of us limp around like poor Mephib. We live below the bar of what God intended.”

Oh, my goodness! I was like Mephibosheth! Crippled both physically and emotionally. Had I not been limping around in a cast, I might have missed the similarity of that Old Testament passage to my own life. God wired me to relate to devotions, and He orchestrated this one just for me!

Soon after reading Sharon Jaynes’ post, my deflated attitude changed. Perhaps it was a season of waiting, but there was no reason to feel useless. I am God’s chosen, dearly loved child and worthy of His presence. I should act like it.

Little did I know why God cleared my calendar. How He planned to use my time in the weeks ahead:

-My mother had a series of strokes, and I had plenty of open days to go stay with her.

-A young woman displaced from her apartment needed a nurturing place to live, and I was able to provide for her.

-The rains ending the drought in the Texas Hill Country finally came. However, with the floods came mass destruction and horrific loss of lives. The clean-up and assistance would require much time from many folks. My schedule was open.

God had plenty for me to do!

And I had been limping around, feeling useless?

How about you? Are you walking with a limp today?