Saturday, April 5, 2014

Solution hurts more than the problem ............. Parables 101

“Don’t limp . . .  if you do, the limp will be more difficult to correct than the problem you have with your foot.”

With that advice in mind, I left the podiatrist, trying not to limp.  I soon found out that it didn’t make any difference to the pain level; the foot hurt whether I limped or not.

In a few weeks, I was called back to be fitted with some special shaped contraptions that go inside my shoes.  The doctor said they will alleviate the pain.  But when I tried them, to my dismay my foot hurt far more than it did without them.  Surely this was a clear case of the “cure being worse than the ailment.”

How I wanted to just toss those expensive arch supports in the trash can.  But my Scottish ancestry balked and, in a stubborn streak of pragmatism, I began to wear them - and limped, and complained, and found my whole body being thrown into a different posture.

Now, for the most part, the “things” (the most polite name I could give them) don’t bother me at all, at least for normal walking.  Furthermore, a hip problem that had affected me for years seems to be clearing up.  My posture is different - straighter, more comfortable.  My husband says I even look slimmer.  (He paid for the “things” so that benefit could be questioned!)

In a nutshell, the cure, even though it is not pleasant, is changing my foot, making it work properly, and giving some fringe benefits besides.

How vividly this relates to another area of life that sometimes gets out of joint . . .  it is my obedience to God.  Sin is the offending limb - and whether it shows up in an outward limp or I hide it behind a smile, it affects the rest of my life and even the life of the church (called the body of Christ in scripture, of which I am only a small part.)

God is in the business of healing His “body,” making whole those who limp with the effects of sin.  Sometimes the cure comes through chastening circumstances that are designed to alter our Christian walk . . .  and they hurt.  Yet, like surgery to remove cancer, or orthodontic devices to correct problem feet, God’s chastening has eventual good in mind, even though the process may not be very comfortable.

Of all the passages of scripture concerning the Lord’s work in my life, none has become more vivid than this section of Hebrews 12: “...He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.  All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”

Because of this problem foot, God’s work to heal me in other ways is not so hard to take.  My responsibility is to see His healing purpose in uncomfortable circumstances, yield under His correction, and wait for the results.  He has some good things in mind!

The “things” are still in my sneakers.  They, and a sore foot, serve as excellent reminders to not resist God’s correction.

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