Getting all excited and wanting to jump for the joy of the Lord at a women’s conference, many years ago now, I made one wrong move, and something snapped in my knee! Fortunately for me, I could quickly hang on to the arm of a friend, which kept me from falling down and breaking my hip. In every cloud there is a silver lining! I was grateful nothing worse had happened. Good natured teasing followed by my dear friends!

What I found very interesting though, were the multitude of different responses other people had to my misfortune. My hubby insisted on doing everything for me, going so far as to hang up the Christmas decorations at work so I wouldn’t have to climb the ladder. The rest of the family was visibly relieved when they realized I could still walk and even drive the car. Our then almost 2-year old granddaughter kissed my knee, my leg, my heel, my foot, my toes, and said, “There, Oma, that’s better now. She brought her books to sit beside me on the bed and read me stories.” The residents at work, sitting in wheelchairs, or using canes and walkers themselves, showed the loving empathy of those who know the pain of losing one’s strength and coping with loss of ability. The staff demonstrated their great generosity of spirit. “Here, let me get this for you.” “Hey, take it easy. Take good care of yourself.” “Tell me what to do, and I’ll help you with that.” At church, people I really didn’t know, came out of their way to enquire about my well-being, assuring me of their continued good wishes and their prayers. Dear friends simply showered me with their love in so many creative ways.

I’m a person who always has a lot of questions in life. In this circumstance, the first question I asked myself was, “What is it the Lord wants me to learn from this experience?” Other people had other questions or comments. “Well, you wouldn’t slow down of your own accord, so the Lord had to slow you down.” “Why did you actually jump when the speaker asked everyone to do that? Didn’t you know that you were too old and out of shape for this?” “I think the Lord punishes people for their sins. It would be good to repent and confess your sins. Then He’ll forgive you and heal your body too.” “I think God felt that it was necessary to humble you; didn’t I tell you not to be dancing around?” “You're always so positive; we’ll see how you handle this one.”

What this has actually taught me is that when you are down, you really find out who your friends are. Those who come to pray for your healing; those who send you cheerful cards; those who give you a call or send an e-mail enquiring about your injury and how you are; those who tease you light-heartedly to make you smile; and even those who tease you mercilessly, because then you know they really do care and they wouldn’t be doing that if you were sick unto death.

I also learned that one does not stop being useful just because one has a disability. I couldn’t lift tables and chairs which had to be set up at work, but as a team we shifted the load. My fellow staff friends allowed me to still contribute to the whole team by letting me do things I was capable of doing sitting down. They gave me some of their work to do, while they picked up some of mine. I never once felt that they were upset with the changes they had to make.They were so flexible! They truly looked out for me! God had giving them such caring attitudes that shone brightly during this difficult time.

I also learned that just because my knee wasn’t functioning, it wasn’t reason to despair! Everything else was doing just fine! My brain was still working, although some would beg to differ! My heart was functioning well; it still had lots of love bubbling over! My hands were still able to type, play piano, drive and so on. But above all, everything was very well with my soul! I was able to praise God even during my suffering. I lived in His Presence! I relaxed in Him. He had allowed it and He would bring me through it. I trusted that the wonderful way He had built bodies to heal themselves would not fail me now. And yet, should He not bring me through it; I would still want to keep on praising Him.

In essence, I thank God for that particular difficulty and for the lessons it taught me. Thank you all for your encouragement during a trying time so many years ago now!

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