About two weeks ago, I was jumping on a trampoline with my younger brother, when I suddenly came down on my foot in the wrong way. My ankle sent a signal to my brain saying, “Ouch!” And I thought, “Oh dear… That can’t be good!” I limped away to sit down and examine the injury, discovering that I had quite badly sprained my ankle. My brother said it looked like I swallowed a potato and it went right by my stomach and all the way down to my ankle! I got it properly treated and some crutches to enable me to hobble around. As I struggled into my bed that night, I groaned thinking about this lasting bother.
As soon as my ankle was diagnosed I foresaw the problems it would cause and was not happy about it. I spent some time complaining to God, asking Him why He would allow it. There was a dull ache constantly distracting me for days, and the bother of having to put ice on it and keep it raised was a nuisance. The hardest thing for me to accept was that I knew, because I couldn’t walk, I would be left out of activities, and unable to work like I normally do. Being a very active person I like to do things and be involved. The problem is that you can’t really go much anywhere with only one good foot. I felt trapped and miserable, but I knew that this response to my dilemma was not pleasing to God.
It is quite interesting how sometimes physical crises can teach us moral lessons. Me spraining my ankle taught me a few.
The book we were studying while my ankle was healing was “Calvary Road” by Roy Hession. Through this book, we learned about revival and brokenness. These two things seem quite different from each other. One we like the sound of, and the other appears painful, but the two go hand in hand. Revival is often thought of as a time when great numbers of people come to Christ, but really it is when believers are refilled with the Holy Spirit. The root words are “re” and “vivere” which mean “again” and “to live.” So, the meaning is to make alive again. You could almost say that it is like spiritual CPR. Revival sounds great and all but the only way we can experience it is by first being broken. This does not mean physically being broken, but the sacrificing of our wills and cleansing of our hearts so that Jesus can pour His life into us.
Have you ever seen a horse or any kind of animal that is untamed? They are called wild. This is what I am before I allow God to break me; like a wild horse. Roy Hession gives the illustration of the Holy Spirit being like a dove, and how a dove will only come upon an animal that is gentle and calm. When Jesus was baptized, He was called the Lamb of God by John the Baptist, and then as he rose from the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove. So, for me too, I must become humble and broken, like a lamb, to receive the revival of the Holy Spirit in me.
“So the way to be broken is to look on Him and to realize it was our sin which nailed Him there. Then as we see the love and brokenness of the God who died in our place, our hearts will become strangely melted and we will want to be broken for Him and we shall pray, “Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord, Oh to be lost in Thee, Oh that it might be no more I, But Christ that lives in me.”Roy Hession – The Calvary Road
We watched a message by Joni Eareckson Tada at the end of our study on brokenness in which she said something in her message that really captured what I had experienced just a week before. She said that disabled people often turn to God because they just have nowhere else to go. With my injured ankle, I couldn’t go very far, and after going a little ways with self pity I came to an end, and the only place I had left to go was to Jesus.
Brokenness also is not always a great one-time experience that we can mark on a calendar. It is something which needs to be done often, even daily. It is not a great emotional experience either which will leave us on a spiritual high for weeks. After I allowed God to break me and replace my will in this ordeal with His, my ankle was still the same, I still didn’t understand why, but I had this calming peace within my heart.
…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6,7