Last week I celebrated the 6th anniversary of my elbow surgery. Seems like a silly thing to celebrate, huh? Well, in my case, there’s cause for celebration. Much progress has been made since May 19, 2011. You see, things didn’t quite go as planned. The tendon had completely torn from the bone so proceeding with surgery was the only sensible option at that point. It was the aftermath that was completely unexpected. For some unknown reason, every joint up and down my right arm, including my fingers, essentially “froze” and there was very limited mobility as a result. There is no need to bore you with all the details. I will just say that my life for the first four years following surgery consisted of countless doctor appointments, various types of therapy, and pills of every description, all with the goal of restoring my range of motion and managing the pain. For the last two years of the six, I am pleased to say that the doctor appointments and pills have been minimal and the therapy mainly consists of getting in the pool to keep things moving. To the eye, my physical issues go undetected by most at this point.
I won’t soon forget May 19th (for a few reasons actually—one of my sisters has a birthday that day). That date causes me to stop and reflect on where I was, where I am now and all the progress that has been made in between those two points. As I do that, there is a verse that really speaks to me. I remember learning it in a small group study somewhere along the way. The verse is tucked into the story of God making a covenant promise to David through the prophet Nathan that secured David’s, as well as his family’s, place on the throne. This is David’s response:
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?”
2 Samuel 7:18 NLT
I don’t know why my surgery had a bad outcome, but I do know this—it is only by the grace of God that I have come THIS far. He has seen me through each step along the way, supplying everything I need just when I need it. My journey back from elbow surgery is much like my spiritual journey—-I’m not where I want to be, but I’m not where I was either. I believe we refer to that as progress! As long as I have breath, He’s not done with me yet. I am a work in progress with the goal being to look more like Jesus each day.
So what’s your story? I know I’m not alone. We’ve all stumbled upon roadblocks along life’s path at one point or another. They come in all shapes and sizes. What circumstances have you feeling defeated today? Don’t give up! He will make a way where there is no way. I share with you the words of Paul:
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 NLT
It’s true for me and it’s true for you too. Someday you’ll look in the rearview mirror just as I tend to do on May 19th and you will be equally amazed that He has brought you THIS far!