Almost two months ago, while playing soccer with one of my sons in the back yard, I managed to dislocate my kneecap and tear a ligament! As a result I ended up having to wear a full leg brace for six weeks. As someone who is definitely not a fan of pain, I am not planning on doing it again!
The brace I was given to wear for the first six weeks was enormous, heavy and rather uncomfortable - especially to sleep in! However, as annoying as the brace was to wear, I soon came to discover that psychologically there was a definite benefit to wearing it. It provided a certain amount of comfort knowing that the leg was completely straight, the knee could not move and so it would not dislocate.
After six weeks of living with the brace the time finally came for me to switch to a less-restrictive brace. It was the only way that my leg could begin to regain strength and enable me to walk and move in the way I could before my accident. When I first removed the brace, however, there were some uneasy moments. Moments where I thought to myself how I would feel so much more confident if I just put the brace back on - particularly with three young boys in the house and an overactive golden retriever bounding around!
At that moment I began to consider how this can often be the case for us in our lives. We can suffer pain and, as a result, protect ourselves with a ‘brace’. All of us use different ‘braces’ to protect our wounds and it can just become part of our everyday lives. The thought of us removing our protective brace can be terrifying but the truth is that unless we do so, we will never know the full life that God intended for us.
The Lord is so gentle with us as He encourages us to let go of our self-made protections. He does so because He wants us to be truly free. I could have lived with my leg in a brace for the rest of my life. I could still have done many things but my leg would have withered away and I would never have been able to run or walk properly. It is the same with the protective braces we wear in life. Take some time today to ask Jesus to show you where you are protecting yourself and where you need to allow Him to take the strain and to bring real healing and freedom into your life.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for not wanting me to stay where I am today, but for wanting me to move on in fullness of life in You. Please help me to let go of my own self-made protections that stop me from knowing real freedom in my life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.