by Richard Mansel, managing editor
One day, I could not walk. No phone or email alert warned me. I simply tried to stand, as I had done countless times before, and my body refused to work properly.
Disorientation and disbelief suddenly stood in my midst, sneering. This could not be happening.
The first time, I was just out of college in 1987. I went to bed at my parents’ apartment in Atlanta and woke up the next morning, unable to walk because of a knifing pain in my hips. The piercing pain accompanied me for years, as I faced the disability, as best that I could.
Time passed and I learned to deal with the pain and lack of mobility. Comfort returned and I was able to walk normally. No reason was ever determined for the problem.
Now, another day has come, when my legs will not work properly. One day they were fine, the next they were not. If I tried to stand, my legs would dip down, unable to hold me up. Tests found no reason for this disability, just like before. Treatments will begin and we will go from there. For now, crutches help support me.
I say this, not for sympathy, but for a larger spiritual lesson. Other people have problems far worse than mine. I will recover and be fine. God has a plan for me.
Spiritually, what can we learn from this situation?
Scripture describes the Christian life as a daily walk (1 John 1:7; 3 John 3-4). Sometimes, our spiritual legs become weak, we cannot walk properly, and we need medical care.
When we are spiritually ill, we need the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), a mirror (James 1:22-25) and a visit to the Great Physician (Deuteronomy 32:39). When physically injured, as humans, we can adapt to new realities and work around them. A measure of self-sufficiency can sustain us.
This cannot happen spiritually. We must depend completely on the Lord to heal us. “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23, NKJV).
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Spiritually, things will not get better with time. Our faith will wither without constant attention. Clinging to the Great Physician is our only hope (Deuteronomy 32:39).
We can listen to a variety of people who have products to sell or opinions, or go to the only one who is truly knowledgeable about our condition.
Dining on spiritually healthy food and investing in prayer and fellowship are required, if we will return to our full health. Collapsing into the hands of our Doctor, without wriggling away, is the only answer. We must listen to and trust him.
If we cannot walk spiritually here on earth, we will not walk in heaven one day.
Thankfully, our physical condition has nothing to do with our ability to walk spiritually. No matter the body we are enslaved in, our spirits can soar like eagles.
We stand liberated by God’s Spirit, lifted by his loving arms because he loves us passionately.
How do we walk, spiritually? Are we able to run or do we fall flat? If the latter, we need the loving hands of the Great Physician to make everything better.