Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FEET (01/17/19)
TITLE: An Education on Walking
By Debra Shirley
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In October 2017, while strolling the sidewalks of New York City with my husband, I stepped into a rut and twisted my ankle. Thankfully, his steady hand kept me from hitting the ground, but the dull pain in my foot escalated into a constant throb within hours. The following day, I hobbled onto a ship with a brace on my ankle and a determination that this mishap would not ruin our vacation. I tolerated the pain for seven days. However, the final night of our cruise, I ventured into a dimly lit room and tripped over an undetected step inflicting more damage to my foot and wrenching my knee. By the time I disembarked, I could not put weight on my right leg. I returned home via airline provided wheelchairs and a lot of TLC. Following a steroid shot, the knee pain eased, but my foot continued its protest. The doctor x-rayed my right ankle and heel and diagnosed me with severe Achilles tendonitis.
Who knew tendonitis could be debilitating? Well, I do now. For over a year, I’ve dealt with nagging pain in my right heel. Medicine, physical therapy, stretching, ice packs, and heating pads do not eliminate the throbbing. The only thing that helps is staying off my foot. Unfortunately, that is not an option. People count on me. My handicapped mother needs groceries. My Sunday School class needs their teacher. As church librarian, I need to climb ladders and shelve books. My house needs upkeep. My husband needs my help with our business. My cats need to be fed. In short, I’m needed.
The past year, I’ve begged God to heal my foot, but so far that hasn’t happened, and I’ve wondered what He wants me to learn through this ordeal. So, my prayer now is, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?”
His answer is clear: “Learn from the experience. Let Me show you how to walk.”
During the past year, He has educated me with the following five lessons.
1. Walk with the Lord.
David wrote in Psalm 17:5 (NIV), “My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.” To follow the Lord, I must avoid pitfalls and walk in obedience to His commands. Any other path will lead to destruction.
2. Walk with eyes wide open.
If I’m going to avoid harm, I must watch where I’m going. Jesus warned in Matthew 26:41 (NIV) “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Even when my flesh is tempted to jump into a pit of hopelessness, through prayer, He shows me a better path to take.
3. Walk in the light.
One of the first verses I memorized as a child was Psalm 119:105 (KJV): “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” God sent the Word, Jesus, as the light of the world and promised that those who follow Him will never walk in darkness. Wherever I may tread, He shines His light to guide me.
4. Walk with reinforcements.
This journey called life can be treacherous. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Solomon speaks of the importance of friends walking beside us. Just as my husband kept me from falling, I need Christian friends supporting me and lifting me in prayer when I am tempted to wallow in depression.
5. Walk on solid ground.
Lastly, and perhaps of utmost importance, our feet must stand on a firm foundation. Even though David stumbled and plummeted into a pit of sin, God pulled Him out of the mire, set his feet on a rock, and gave him a firm place to stand. He’ll do the same for you and me. No matter how many times I may fall, “the Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like that of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19 (NIV)
Even if God doesn’t heal my foot and I’m forced to spend countless hours seated with my foot elevated, as a writer He can still use me for His glory.
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