Fourteen years ago, a doctor told me I would have a life-long back problem. Years of pain-filled appointments, and doctor after doctor confirmed that all we could do was medicate as the issues arose.
I joked that I am–scratch that–was 85 on the inside. With creaking and popping, mornings getting out of bed were a symphony of joint and muscle stress. Moving furniture or a heavy box took more careful strategy than simple braun–because even the smallest thing could set off an episode.
For fourteen years, I stored over-the-counter meds in my work office because the need for them could crop up without warning. I considered all of my activities for the day before choosing which shoes I would wear or which pants were too restrictive. Road trips–which I enjoy–were curtailed based on how far I could ride in the car before the spasms would begin, and how many hours or days I would need to rest before venturing home.
Three weeks ago, that changed. When heavy meds did nothing for the pain and x-rays showed no bone problem, I knew the days of intermittent pain were becoming closer to chronic. I thanked God I was able to get fourteen years before the pain would become daily. I accepted my fate.
Three weeks ago, at the end of my medical rope, my doctor sent me to physical therapy. The referring doc didn’t have high hopes, but he figured if we could hold off the chronic pain for even a few days at a time, it would be a victory.
After a 60-minute assessment, the physical therapist told me two things that my muscles were doing which were causing the pain. I had known these two things since high school. But here’s the kicker: he said they were easily fixable with spinal manipulation and muscle retraining.
It took three appointments over the course of two weeks before what he said actually hit me. Driving down the road, heading to a small group study, the tears started to flow as I realized that God had just delivered me from a life-sentence.
Condemned to years of unrelenting pain, God sent the right doctor at the right time to free me from this physical prison. And though my appointments are not over, and there is much work left to be done, I am freed.
Know this: whatever your challenge, whatever your struggle, God can free you too. If it is for your best good and to His glory, He may send along just the right person in the exact right moment to unshackle you from a life condemned.
Most importantly, though, is that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you are already freed from eternal condemnation. The shackles are broken, the prison gate is off its hinges. And you are free. Free from the weight of condemnation and shame. Free from the thought that there must be a God, but He could never love you. Free from the life you had lived before–God is with you.
If you struggle with the life you have lived and question whether a holy God could actually love you, please watch this woman’s story. A life of prostitution transformed in an unlikely context of a near cocaine overdose. She tells her story at this link.
In my small-town, sheltered life, I have known saved addicts, adulterers, and even a murderer or two. One friend describes his past life as having broken every commandment except the one coveting his neighbor’s manservant, because he wasn’t much interested in a manservant.
Whatever your story. Whatever your struggle. Jesus came that you would have life–and not just life, but one more than you could ever ask or dream. He promises to take all that past and make it for good for those who love Him, who are called. And if you are still reading this, you are called.
His deliverance is a breath away. If you want to know more, feel free to contact me at: contact (at) groundswellministries.org
We are all fumbling our way down this road, holding the hand of the One who promises to guide and provide. Take the step of faith. He is waiting for you.