“But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.”
Feet are remarkable things.
They hold you up, for one thing. They move you where you want to go, for another. They flex and swivel and adjust to irregular surfaces, adapting in mere milliseconds to rough terrain, or sinking sand.
A foot injury can – well, leave you without a leg to stand on.
With my ankle issues, Hubby had removed all of our throw rugs. In the crutch phase, they were just a travel hazard, an accident waiting to happen. But last week I put them back.
There was method to my madness.
My intent was that as I putz around my kitchen in my sock feet, if part of my foot landed on the mat, it would be forced to do what feet do – adjust and hold its ground. It would have the opportunity to practice what it preaches.
I was putzing. I was ‘socking’. (Work with me.) And when the inevitable ‘matting’ occurred, I was ready for it.
My foot wasn’t.
My toes stepped on it at an angle and rather than perform the miraculous adjustment, they squirmed and freaked out and rejected the odd unexpected sensation in some sort of spasmodic jig that nearly upended me.
Yup. I was left without a leg to stand on.
I’m sure the ensuing clawing and clutching at the air in a frantic attempt to hold myself up was great YouTube material. I bet it would have gone viral, the contortions and carryings on were that grand.
All over accidentally catching the edge of a throw rug.
But while feet are under normal circumstances expected to deal with the irregularities of the day with much more grace, injured feet are different.
They can’t be expected to work with ease and flexibility and comfort. They are stiff. They get sore. They don’t have the same range of motion.
Just like the writer of this Psalm.
He’s been hurt.
His heart has sustained an injury. We all have these inner wounds – we’ve been trampled on in one way or another. Disappointment. Failure. Lost vision, abandonment, abuse, injustice, grief, disillusionment.
And while the original injury isn’t a sin – not ours, anyway – our completely human responses to the bad things that happen to us can trip us up.
See, heart injuries keep us from being flexible in our thinking. They make us feel stuck and unable to move past the hurt. We lose mobility, forget that the best place to tuck in is right close to Jesus, the Healer.
Instead, we grumble.
We start comparing. We look around and wonder why no one else is having these troubles – and that takes our eyes off the prize and places them squarely on ourselves. It’s like we catch the corner of the throw rug – and it throws us for a loop.
I’ve been there, too.
Pain pokes holes in all our perfect theories and makes us question our path, our direction, our calling.
It leaves us without a leg to stand on. We feel upended and clutch wildly to get our bearings, when what we need is right in front of us.
Read Psalm 73 today.
It is such an honest struggle, a cry of the heart, wrestling with the throw rugs that seem to reach out with a vengeance to throw us off the path.
But the Psalmist doesn’t stay there, grounded by his pain.
He moves through the struggle, allows himself to sit with it and express it – and then, comes to a glorious conclusion.
“Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.”
Foot (and heart!) injuries will come and go. We get hurt! It’s okay to call it what it is, to express it and feel it and acknowledge it. We will do strange jigs once in a while trying to keep our balance. But here’s the thing.
You belong to God.
He holds you by the hand.
He will guide you with His counsel.
He will lead you to a glorious destiny.
Now that’s giving you – and me! – a leg to stand on.
Work through the hurt places with me?
Father, pain and injuries happen a lot here in this world so messed up by sin. But you want us to work through our issues honestly and openly, working through and in the pain to draw us closer to You. Thank You for this good work You are doing in us. Amen.
2 thoughts on “Without a Leg to Stand On”
This really impacted me this morning so I sent it to my friend who was deeply moved by your words, God’s words. Thank you!
Thanks for that encouragement Karen!