As my family and I watched Hurricane Dorian make it's slow crawl towards us, we got the news to evacuate. But that couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time.
I had just finished getting knee surgery the day prior and could barely move around. I had just begun the surgical healing process, so I was swollen, bruised and ineffective for any work. Doped up on narcotics, I watched my wife single-handedly prepare our home and our family for the evacuation.
I felt inadequate, useless and helpless. I felt like a bum.
I couldn’t stop beating myself up and wondering how I let this happen. All I know is this:
At one point or another I placed my knee under enough pressure that it brought a lot of tension onto the ligaments that held it together. In that moment, I tore through the meniscus. The integrity of my knee was compromised. There must have been a great deal of pain that came with it. By design, I should have been alerted to stop whatever dysfunctional activity and seek healing. The problem is that I don't remember the pain or that day.
But what I do remember is the last several years worth of pain. I literally developed a new baseline for pain in my knee and convinced my body that the painful and dysfunctional state that it was in was in fact 'okay.' Though I can sit on this side of the issue and point to the stupidity in my life, I see how easily we can miss the fact that we often do this in our spiritual lives.
There will be seasons in our lives when we will come under great spiritual pressure. Whether it is self-inflicted or devil-inflicted does not matter. When that pressure brings enough unhealthy tension, we can find ourselves with a tear in the things that help hold us together:
The integrity of our lives can be compromised in an instant and we are faced with a choice.
Yes, a choice. We were created to be convicted of any dysfunction that violates our design. As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit to show us to and through our brokenness. The choice is this:
Will we choose to listen?
Will we choose to listen to the conviction of the Spirit when the integrity of what holds us together is compromised? Or will we choose to deaden pain and dysfunction?
Unfortunately this is all too often the case with us men. Our macho man mentality and the culture we have created values silent suffering over seeking help and healing. What's worse is that a man actually believes he is being selfless when he harbors in pain, shuts up about discomfort and sucks it up.
I get it. I don't want to be perceived as weak either.
But when we deaden conviction, dysfunction and pain for the sake of our manhood, we often forfeit the promises and blessings we have access to through Jesus Christ.
In Him all of our apparent weaknesses are turned into strengths.
In Him we find comfort.
In Him we have the promises of healing.
Just like my nerve endings were designed to alert me of pain in my knee, so too does the Holy Spirit alert you of dysfunction in your life. So the next time you sense some sort strain, I urge you to listen in.
Listen in to what Holy Spirit is trying to show you and instead of trying to grin and bare, find a quiet place and pray. Pray that God would give you the wisdom and courage to look at the pain and dysfunction in your life with honesty. Pray that God would show you those who you should bring along side of you to help you through the healing process.
The worst thing that can happen is that you will walk in healing and wholeness.