Life Lessons: Broken Bones
January 11, 2015 Comments Off on Life Lessons: Broken Bones
I broke my collarbone. I’ve never been so defeated, discouraged, or in so much pain in my life. But God taught me 3 life changing lessons through it
If there’s one thing in life I’ve learned, it’s that health is our biggest blessing- it is also the #1 thing we take for granted. A few weeks ago I was skiing for the first time in Utah. Little did I know, God had a really big change planned for my life. On the third of our four planned ski days, I broke my collar bone. I wasn’t being stupid, going to fast, or on too steep a heading…I simply fell in a way that caused my collarbone to break. For those, like myself, that are not very medically knowledgeable; breaking your collarbone is different than any other break in your body. For every other broken bone, they put it in a cast and the next day the pain subsides because the bone can’t heal. Collarbones, because of their location, cannot be put in a cast and are left to heal back together via a simple sling because it’s the only bone in your body that doesn’t have to heal perfectly back to be functional. The recovery time is 8-10 weeks. Accompanying that long recovery time is the not-so-fun side effect that every single minute of every day the person is in pain because it’s not in a cast.
As I’ve spent every day barely moving, God has taught me 3 things I will never forget:
1) Our inability to plan for setbacks is the inability to recognize who God truly is and how He works. The first 2 weeks were extremely painful for me, but they were also the most crucial for the bone to begin to heal. I gutted them out, even came off pain killers to not have to deal with the side effects. They were extremely painful moments of my days, but I knew if I could get through them I would be better. But on week 3 I fell and popped my bone out even worse. How could this happen to me? I had spent the first 2 weeks going through so much pain, but I was making huge progress according to my doctors…Whatever you are going through right now: trying to get in better shape with your body, trying to restore a broken relationship, trying to forgive someone that has wronged you, trying to forget something you did, trying to get out of debt, or whatever you situation is know this. Our plans and our timeframes that we establish may not be what God has planned for us. God has a proven track record of disrupting our plans for ourselves because we are missing something, haven’t learned a certain lesson, or He has a totally new direction for us to go. If we do not plan for God to change our direction and be accepting of the idea that whatever course we are heading for today may get completely changed by God tomorrow, we are putting too much trust in our ways and not His ways.
2. It’s time to slow down your life. This was probably the hardest lesson for me to cope with and stomach. I was always the type-A guy who’s anthem was to “seize the day” and “never waste a second of my time.” Throughout all 4 years of my college experience, I worked 40-50 hours a week, went to class, and managed to have a social life. I was always on the go, from one thing to the next. I lived to take advantage of every opportunity I could cram into my schedule. Being outgoing and having an entrepreneurial lifestyle is by no means bad or sinful, but through my accident I learned that I had lost touch of what really mattered. Sometimes we begin to focus too much on the whole path, rather than the straight and narrow. I was trying to balance all of my responsibilities, keep everyone happy, and live a Godly life. But when you have too many responsibilities, it’s far too easy to lose sight of which actually matter for our eternal self and which are simply a part of Earth. Slowing down and being physically disabled forced me to truly dig deep within and look at where my priorities were. The more time we spend racing one from job to the next, the less time we have to take a step back and realize how much God has blessed us with.
3. Every setback is a setup for God to do something radical in your life. We all are struggling with a setback. Every single one of us are facing something today that is hard, difficult to understand, and maybe even painful in our life. Too often we see these setbacks as unconquerable and we let them take us over. We allow our setbacks to make us feel set apart and away from God. The bible has promised us that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, so why are we so easily accepting of earthly circumstances defeating our heavenly calling? Losing a job, feeling like you can’t make ends meet, looking at yourself in the mirror and feeling ugly, questioning your self-worth, getting in a fight with a loved one…These are all things that have purposes in our lives, but we have to be willing to adjust the lens of which we view our life through– which is no easy task and one that is not the most desirable thing to allow. It is time for us to view our setbacks as setups to allow God to intervene in our lives. It is time for you to look up at Him rather than look down at yourself. Every instance of pain is an opportunity to glorify God and remind ourselves that He is in control and that He has something planned. We have to submit ourselves to God, His word, and be willing to resist the urge to give in to what a setback and throw in the white flag. God grants us the strength and the victory, but sometimes it’s not always immediate or in the way we want it to be. We must submit ourselves to viewing our life through the lens of eternity rather than our own plans. Rather than trying to come up with the solution to your problem, ask God to show you what He’s trying to teach you. Thank Him for the opportunity He has given you to overcome this setback and look for what He’s setting you up to learn or do.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.