There is something you should know about me. I am not all that graceful. I am not talking about giving grace to people (though I struggle with that too!). I am talking moving around the room without bumping my knee or hitting my funny bone. I wouldn't say I am a klutz, but I do avoid the step class when I work out at the Y.
That said, it shouldn't be shocking that when I decided to play tag with my class of four year olds I wound up getting hurt. The verse about pride coming before a fall comes to mind. I was getting a little cocky when I decided to juke the little blonde boy who was about to tag me. That's right, this 45 year old mom thought she still had it! My smooth move didn't turn out like I planned and KABOOM! My big toe collided with a slide and I went sailing through the air. It must have been quite a sight because all my loving co-workers laughed pretty hard.
It seems that I may or may not have broken my toe. Most people who have seen it say, "Oh, you broke your toe!" But since I haven't had it x-rayed, I hesitate to make that diagnosis. I just know that when it happened it really hurt and within an hour I could barely put any weight on it.
As I wobbled out to my car everyone who saw me asked if I was hurt. It was that bad. And it got me to thinking how much I use my toes and never think about it. But when there is intense pain even something so simple as walking becomes difficult. It was as if my whole body could only feel my toe and react to my toe. Everything became about caring for that big toe. I thought about this verse:
"There should be no division in the body, but its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."
1 Corinthians 12:25-26
When I am hurt and in intense pain, I need the rest the body to cover the difference. My other toes and ankle and my other leg were all forced to be stronger and take on more responsibility because my hurt toe couldn't function like a healthy toe.
If I am in a place of great pain and hurt on the inside, it is no time to leave the body of Christ. It is time to allow my church family to care for me. I know from personal experience that the presence and prayers of other believers makes a big impact.
And if the trial is intense and emotionally draining, then it may be a time to take a break from serving and allow some time for healing in my own life. It was God who came up with the idea of rest. He thought it was so important for me that He gave me one day out of every seven. Then the One who never tires and never sleeps, rested as an example for me. And if it is good enough for God, then it is good enough for this child of His.
I remember a time when I had to say no to serving at church. It was difficult for me to let go because so much of who I was was defined by what I did. If I wasn't leading/teaching, then who was I? The Father used that time of recovery on the sidelines to teach me that I am more than what I do. I am valuable to God even when I am broken and have to rest and recover. My identity is found in who He is and what He says about me.
"You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you."
Thank you, Father, that you have place me in a church that does care for me and my soul like You do. Thank you for rest and the refreshing and renewal You bring. Thank you for teaching me that I am valuable because You created me and redeemed me.