How Lame Is That?


Christine Sullivan

I’m dating myself, but I remember when young people were just starting to use the phrase “lame”, to describe something that was decidedly uncool. It’s kind of fun to examine how vernacular changes overtime, but let’s look at the original meaning of the word: Not able to walk without difficulty. 

Many handicaps and injuries are easy to spot because of halting motion or the use of health aids like crutches, walkers, canes or wheelchairs, but other “lameness” is not always so obvious. We can be crippled by emotional or spiritual hindrances caused by trauma, shame, hurt or bitterness, just to name a few culprits. 

These internal injuries can “lame us” and stunt our emotional and spiritual growth as well as hinder progress on our spiritual journey. Just as physical trauma can interfere with our bodies health and its ability to move, grow and sustain health.

I know about both internal and external lameness.

Almost two years ago, I underwent surgery for a total knee replacement, but encountered complications. Two blood clots developed a week after surgery and not only did they threaten my life, but they caused intense swelling, which hindered my ability to bend my right leg. I had to have another surgery, to have a filter placed in a vein and to get my leg to bend again. My physical lameness was all consuming. 

Do you have something that has cripples you and hinders progress in your spiritual life…. or emotional trauma that’s never been dealt with? Do you experience so much shame or guilt that you feel bent over and unworthy to stand up and participate fully in life? 

Have you been so hurt or disappointed that you feel like you can’t trust again? Have you given up expecting change or made a truce with the enemy: believing his lies about you? Are you stuck on the path, terrified of what may come? Or perhaps, you see only darkness and no longer believe there is a path out of your depression.

My struggles have been with hurt and disappointment which have waylaid me and made me mistrust individuals, doubt God and left me stuck in despair at times, unable to see his light and hope. I allowed myself to be “hamstrung” by allowing hurt to turn to bitterness and a lack of forgiveness to strangle my relationship with the Lord.

We all will have injuries in this life and will be hurt by people we trust, and we often need help with our recovery, so we seek the aid of doctors and therapists and trusted friends, but in the area of forgiveness we really need to tackle this issue on our own? Sure, we start by telling a trusted friend about our issues and ask for prayer, but ultimately it comes down to getting honest with Jesus and choosing to forgive.

That may sound easy, but I have found myself powerless to do the right thing without the power of the Holy Spirit enlivening the words of Jesus. I was struggling to release the hurts that caused me such pain and to forgive the one who had caused it. Knowing what’s right and doing it can be very different things. One is just knowledge, the other requires obedience.

I had to forgive, to enjoy the forgiveness myself-otherwise the Heavenly Father wouldn’t forgive me, no matter what I professed. Matthew 6:14. 

That was a miracle healing for me…as supernatural as any physical healing. I knew what I was do but couldn’t bring myself to do it on my own. These words were more than a memorized prayer, they were life and life giving, once I followed through. It was as miraculous as any physical healing to me. This was the “narrow way” of Jesus, that was hard to find.

The world will tell you that when you have been unjustly treated and have a right to be hurt and angry, so it is hard to follow Jesus through the narrow door that requires denying ourselves of our right to be angry and to hold a grudge.

I’ve had to repeat this process time and time again, because I struggle with dealing with hurts properly and tend to internalize, rather than confront with love. When I get stuck and recognize I’m being “lame”, I must look up, put my hope in His love and forgiveness and release those who hurt me again. I don’t want that ugly root of bitterness to keep tripping me up and keep me sidelined from His Kingdom work, do you?

Will you let the injuries of the past keep hindering you or let them encumber you in the now?

Or will you look to Jesus, the one outside of time, and listen to Him call you into the future?

He is trustworthy and a great physician who calls not the healthy, but those who know they are sick.

Steps of Faith

Lord help us hear your voice when you are calling us to rise and follow you. Empower us to walk in your ways when we haven’t got the strength to do so on our own. Thank you for forgiving us, while we were yet sinners. Help us to release others who have hurt us or hindered us. Help, us reflect your goodness and light and make us more Ike you. Thank you, Lord, that you can heal our hearts as well as our bodies. Amen.

Deeper Walk Scripture

1 Corinthians 13:13, Matthew 6:14, Psalm 139:23, Proverbs 3:5 

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