Only sometimes do we love being corrected by friends. If it is something simple like, your shirt collar is up, your food needs hot sauce or I know that you love those pants… but they are horrible, those are no big deal! We can usually take it in stride. It might take 20 seconds of emotional growing up, but we can get back to adulting pretty quick. It’s the stuff that pushes on the areas that we hold close to our hearts that makes a bigger impact.
Those tough places for many Christians deal with areas of faith or areas of interpretation of our written canon. It was one of these tough places that changed my life and even physical body forever!
Growing up in the off-shoots of the holiness movement meant watching religious leaders wanting to be 1950’s faith healers. I got to see one perspective of Christianity, one perspective that usually deemed all others as wrong and more importantly faithless. One of the biggest take aways my heart had from this season was that God heals, but he only heals at an altar and only dramatically. So I spent my formative years being dragged from crusade to crusade and service to service. Going through the whole generational curse phase, the spirit of Jezebel phase and any type of inner healing you can imagine. If you don’t know what those words are, high five yourself. By the time I was a young adult, I was exhausted and frustrated from all of it. I know God is a healing God, I have seen it! So why can’t I have my big moment? And, if it doesn’t happen, what does that mean about God and my relationship to Him?
Meanwhile, the specialists were talking about knee replacements to get me out of pain and starting to look at ways that the medical world could make life easier for me to live and be more productive. But why would I do that if God could do better? I was told that you take it to Doctor Jesus and if your faith is high enough, then BAM!
Skip ahead a few years. Amberley and I were trying to start having kids. But my knee was getting worse and worse. There was no way I could keep up with a running toddler with a knee functioning at 20% of what it should be. So I prayed harder, pushed harder and knew that God had this under control. Then at a national conference for our denomination we ran into a few old friends. One of these friends, Peggy, mentioned that the church we used to attend was praying for me and that she had some thoughts. She told me that my faith was misaligned and I was robbing God of opportunities. We talked about the knee replacement and what God could do with me in the hospital. I was shocked and offended for a split second… then it was like my brain and spirit caught up to each other and I realized that God can use anything.
My next appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon, I said I was ready. I was ready to move ahead with the procedure. It didn’t take long before I was ready to pull the trigger. It seemed that as soon as I realized that I had been wrong for so long, God was ready to give me peace and let me proceed. Months later when the surgery was happening, I remember the peace I had and the calmness of what was about to happen. I don’t remember everyone that visited me those next few days (for obvious get out of pain reasons), but I do remember my roommates in the hospital and the nursing staff. I remember one of the nursing staff and how we had mutual friends. It was a strange connection. But I know God used that time and that seeds were planted. I also remember praying with a man who had just under gone a surgery himself. I went into the situation ready for God to use me and was open to that in and out of season. Obviously there was no altar calls or mass repentance sessions, but I know God was there and I know that I was obedient. I am thankful that I was teachable at that conference. I am glad that I listened and didn’t write off an idea that was counter to my entire upbringing.
I was able to let God use me because I was being teachable. Our theologies and ideas should not be so rigid that we cannot see movement happen. In those movements we can often find peace and growth in our lives and in our Christian walks. Let people tell you that you are wrong. Maybe you are!