“Oh happy day, happy day, You washed my sins away!” Singing along to the Tim Hughes CD, I was having fun decorating the shop next to our Bible school for Christmas. We use the rented space during the week for after-school tutoring, a neighborhood cafe, and small group Bible studies. Hanging pine branches, gold ribbon, and strings of lights, I imagined how surprised everyone would be when they saw the final effect.
After a bathroom break on the second floor, I eagerly skipped down the cement steps back to the shop. I took them two at a time as I belted out to the echoing walls. “Oh happy day, happy day…” Suddenly there was no step beneath my feet. Before I realized what was happening, I crumpled on the floor. I felt a sharp pain in my right foot as it turned under. Shakily I tried to stand, biting my lip to keep from crying out.
Pride And Stubbornness
I briefly debated calling one of the students next door to ask for help, but felt too embarrassed. “There’s hardly anything left to do – I’m sure I can manage it,” I told myself. For the next thirty minutes I hobbled through the shop. I hung decorations, arranged candles on the tables, and swept the floor with a push broom.
By the time I finished cleaning up, locked up the shop, and stumbled up the three flights of stairs to my room, my foot was throbbing. Taking off my shoe to inspect the damage, I saw a swelling mass on the right side that was already turning purple. My pride and stubbornness in not wanting to ask for help caused unnecessary pain!
Depending on Him
I’m reminded of a story I heard about Israeli shepherds in Jesus’ time. If a young lamb kept wandering away from the flock and didn’t listen to the shepherd, the shepherd would break the lamb’s legs and carry it around his own neck. This apparent cruelty by the shepherd was necessary. It served to protect the lamb from being attacked by wild animals or getting lost on its own. During the weeks or months it took for the lambs’ legs to heal, it grew to know and trust the shepherd’s voice. In a time of total helplessness, the lamb became completely dependent on the shepherd.
The past few days it’s been a real struggle as I’ve had to depend on others to help me. Helping me up the stairs, open the doors, or carry things to my room. Every time I think “I’m OK – I can do this by myself,” the pain in my foot reminds me that I really do need help. I feel like the little lamb that thinks it doesn’t need the shepherd. If a sprained ankle will keep me depending on Him, then I’m thankful for it!
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. …For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:9-10