This year was a Valentine’s Day to remember. I slipped on the ice, fell, and instantly knew it was bad. A trip to the ER confirmed it; I had broken my foot and my fibula. As I sat in the treatment room trying to digest the news, they told me I couldn’t talk to an orthopedic Dr. until Tuesday because Monday was a holiday. They splinted me and sent me out to wait to find out if I would need surgery or have to have my leg reset to align it properly.
I would love to tell you I went home and used my faith to wait patiently for a call from the Dr. But that’s not what happened. I spent the next 48 hours in a state of decidedly un-saintly panic. I cried, I pouted, and I was not very brave. When I finally got the call to go get re-examined, I was a wreck. Fortunately, I got good news from the Dr. No surgery or reset’s required. I was sent home in a Velcro splint with a good prognosis. I’m currently convalescing.
Faith-wise, this was an eye-opener. I’ve realized I make my faith so much about “my” faith. What I am or am not doing, right, wrong, or otherwise. I feel ashamed of myself when I panic and proud of myself when I pray. Times like these remind me, “my” faith is not from me in the first place. It’s a response to the initiator of faith, my Heavenly Father, who is the one who is always faithful.
A verse in 2 Timothy says God is faithful, even when we are faithless because He cannot deny Himself. This last week I have been reminded of how true that verse is. I had no gumption toward prayer, yet He was faithful. I sat around in tears, and He was compassionate. I didn’t do anything “right” in response to my crisis, yet He never left me. He remained steadfast. And I don’t say that because all my circumstances ended up rosy. No, my leg’s still broken. But because He is whispering into my heart that He is not disappointed in me because my faith doesn’t depend upon me. It depends upon Him, and He is the one who’s full of faith.
Jesus told a story about a foolish builder who built his house on the sand, and when the storm came, the house collapsed. I have built some beautiful houses in my day. They depend upon me and how often I pray and read my Bible and am nice to my neighbor. They are houses built on religion. When the storms come or the falls on the ice, they don’t stand up very well. But the part of me that relies on Him to hold me, that part is my solid foundation. It remains unshaken and unbroken.
Here I sit, unable to escape my humanness—an accomplisher of nothing noteworthy on my own. Clay feet and worry are on my resume. But one thing I’m worrying about less and less is His ability to hold me tight, even when I’m at my worse. When the chips fell, I discovered I only have faith in His faithfulness to me. Because I am His child, I am joined to Him. He cannot resist me because He is love and kindness. So, not only have I fallen on the ice, but I am also falling hard on mercy and grace.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.