“With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.”
2 Thessalonians 2:15
Boy, is that an underrated event.
Standing, I mean.
Two feet, planted on a solid foundation, bearing the weight of the body they support equally. Fully. Strongly.
It’s a lovely thing, standing on your own two feet.
I know. With a foot just recently able to handle some weight bearing, I’m telling you – standing up is wonderful!
I never realized before how absolutely vital my feet – in good working order – really are. It’s been weeks since I could handle using both feet, and I’m captivated.
My physiotherapist (a definitive Sadist, if you ask me) showed me a model of a foot recently when I showed up at his clinic in high hopes of healing. I don’t know if you’ve ever actually seen the inner mechanics of a foot before. The amount of movement and magic that are all happening at once to enable us to balance and walk almost defies belief.
Sadist, with his tricky exercises, is well on his way to getting me back to being able to walk without any mobility aids.
But first, I need to stand.
I started – weak and wobbly. I needed to hold onto something – a piece of furniture. A human. A railing. But as I’ve gotten that injured foot more used to doing what it is supposed to do, I’m finding that the standing on my own two feet part is slowly getting stronger, more natural, less painful.
And I know that this principle is also at work in the world of faith development.
We need to hold on to something at first. A mentor. A Pastor. A godly parent. We will be wobbly as we begin. Our ankles will buckle. Our muscles will need to stretch and flex.
And as we practice, we build stamina. Endurance and confidence and the ability to take on different flooring, uneven footing, slippery slopes.
And then – with our initial baby steps well in hand (foot?), we can take on the tricky stuff. Spiritual adverse weather, earthquakes, cliff hangers – the works!
If you’re like me and judge your failures based on the desired end result, you’ll have a rough go.
I’d like to have gone right from broken ankle to firm foundation. But it doesn’t work that way. There is a process.
It takes time.
Determination – even when it hurts, it makes you grouchy, pour sweat with the sheer effort.
In the case of my ankle, I need to listen to the advice of Sadist and work hard at my exercises, slowly loosening up all the bits that were unused for so long. I need to follow the instruction sheets I’m given.
In the case of my faith, I need to listen to my Saviour – read (and follow!) the Instruction Manual. Then I will stay open to change, and learn to flex my faith muscles properly.
I’m on my way. God willing, I’ll graduate from standing to walking, and walking to dancing!
Learn to stand on your own two feet with me?
Father, these reminders as I recover physically if the spiritual parallels have been so rich. Teach us to use Your Word to learn how to stand, one day at a time, strong in our faith in uncertain times. Amen.