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For those who prayed for my painkiller-related challenges, thank you. My back is on the upswing. With a little painkiller and a lot of wisdom, I have been making good-patient type decisions rather than pushing it continually.

The interesting part about this time around is that I could not sit. Before, I would be able to manage a particular, albeit awkward, position so as to get through the day. This time, there was no sitting.

I could stand. I could lay flat. And with slow movements, I could roll over and accomplish the former from the latter without passing through the land of sitting.

I stood for hours at work, rigging a system to raise my keyboard and mouse so that I could continue to work. I stood through meetings (awkward!). I walked slowly.

And when I got home, I laid down. Anti-inflammatory meds replaced the fog-inducing stuff. Rest was plenty and sleep was unusually peaceful.

But miracle of all miracles–I didn’t push it. I apologized for the awkward standing-through-a-meeting, but I did not push my body to do that which my very soul knew would be unwise.

I wore (gasp!) sensible shoes. I taught an entire college lecture in stocking feet because the slight heel in my shoe was too much for my back by the end of the day. I changed the entire teaching approach overnight because my active, move around the room design needed to engage the audience while only moving a step or two to the right or two the left. Ironically, the teaching was on effective facilitation, and part of the highlight was that everything would never be ideal, so you had to do what you could, bend where you could, and understand the desired outcome so that you could still hit the mark by the end.

And there is only so much arm movement I could do–hard to engage a room of 100 students with such limited range of motion. But that is just it. It was hard, but it was doable. And the students walked away seeing before their eyes how a plan can be altered while still meeting the purpose.

I wonder if God just wants us to do what He has called us to without worrying so much about the intimate intricacies. My teaching didn’t go as I had originally planned. I would, however, venture to guess that it went better–because every word, every intonation, every click of the presentation grew in importance. Each movement had to captivate a room full of 19-year-olds. I could not rely on my body. I had to rely on my greater strength–my words.

He calls us to do what He calls us to do. And where we are weak, He allows us to stand. It may not be our ideal, but it will accomplish His.

I could have focused on what I couldn’t do. But in focusing instead on what I could, the outcomes of the day were met, my back could still continue to heal, and I did not miss out.

He called me to stand amid the discomfort, the pain–and because I did, He delivered.

Where is He calling you to stand?

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Image by Rainer Topf

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