And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10, NIV).
The sounds of voices in the distance crept through my drug-induced fog. People talking, hospital beds clanking – the sounds of the recovery room all slowly but surely helping me wake from surgery.
I had separated my shoulder. The orthopedic surgeon explained that he not only needed to get my collar bone back in the right place, but that I had torn muscles, tendons, and nerves that needed to be repaired. In other words, surgery was my only option unless I wanted to live with excruciating pain and have a crooked collarbone for the rest of my life. When I asked the surgeon why he couldn’t just pop it back into place like they do in the movies, he burst out laughing. Final answer? Surgery.
“Mary, can you wake up for me?” The fog slowly lifted, and I saw my smiling husband standing over me. Then I heard his voice. “Honey, the surgery went great. The doctor said there was more damage than he anticipated, but that he was able to repair all of the muscles, tendons, and nerves and move your collar bone back into place.”
I tried to move the wounded arm – my right arm – and yes, I am right-handed. Nope! I could not move it. My shoulder and arm were tightly strapped to my body. The nurse saw me trying to move and warned, “Mary, don’t move that arm – not for six weeks. You will be in this immobilizer sling to help prevent you from moving – not to mention the pain you will feel if you try.” Now there was some good news.
The more I woke up, the more I did not like the immobilizer sling. It was not only a normal sling, but it was also attached to a foam bump firmly planted between the sling and my body. “Why is this big foam thing necessary?” I asked. The nurse smiled and said, “Your arm has to stay in a certain position in order for it to heal correctly.”
At that precise moment, the profound truth of the nurse’s words did not register with me. Oh, they got through physically – but the deeper truth did not hit me for a couple of weeks.
We have to stay in a certain position before God in order for our heart and soul and mind to heal correctly.
Pain and trials are a certainty of life. We will all be broken and wounded at some point. Your job is eliminated. Your husband is having an affair, or your teenage daughter is pregnant. Financial pressure suffocates dreams, or the betrayal of a trusted friend inflicts a wound so deep and painful that you long for that valley of death. Each day is thick with fear, and your heart is filled with disbelief. The valley may suddenly be before you in a time of loneliness or in the shock of a dire medical diagnosis.
While valleys may come in all shapes and sizes, one thing is certain—valleys will come. That being said, we must ask and answer the question, “How can we deal with the valleys in life?” We must respond with faith.
Don’t let that word – faith – frighten you. You have faith. You walk into a dark room and flip a switch, knowing that the light will come on. You sit in a chair, knowing it will support your weight. You buy a ticket and board a plane, trusting that aircraft to get you to your desired destination. Yes, you have faith. It is just a matter of where you place that faith that makes all the difference in the world. When you place your faith in God, a world of possibilities and impossibilities opens up.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Are you discouraged…afraid…desperately trying to find enough energy to simply breathe? God knows. He sees you. The perfect place for you to find healing is in His arms. Be at rest. Be held.