I was supposed to be strong again, the massage therapist told me with a bit of accusation in her voice. Yeah, I know, I thought. My children had pulled together and given me a massage for my birthday. It was luxurious and wonderful. The masseuse was amazing and skilled. But when she tried to move my leg and hip a certain way, she turned corrective. My hip replacement surgery was a year ago. My recovery was to take 3 – 6 months the doctors said. At six months, I was nowhere near my pre-surgery condition. I was so relieved when the doctor confessed that with a unique and long lasting injury like I had, recovery would take more like 18 months. I was relieved because it freed me from the accusations of failure that were haunting me. Accusations reinforced by a well-meaning masseuse.
In the meantime, my focus had turned from what I was unable to do. Lift my leg very high. Be bendy. Get up off the floor with grace. Straighten up from bending over without pain. Walk long distances. Jog. Etcetera. I’ve been looking down. I’ve been focusing on my clay feet and my weak hip.
God grabbed my attention the other day and asked me to shift my gaze from what I couldn’t do to what I can do. I can walk without pain. I can bend over. I can grocery shop. I can do short hikes. I can swim. I can garden for short periods. I can water plants. I can arrange flowers. I can cook. I can set tables and create beauty. I can dream. I can invite people over for a time of encouragement and good food. I can enjoy life. I can laugh. I can clean my closet and other crazy things that I don’t actually want to do.
I can do so much more than I can’t.
And when I look to Jesus and his life in me, there is so much more that I can do together with him. I can forgive hurts. I can worship Jesus. I can grow. I can pray. I have access to all the resources of Heaven! I can know peace. I don’t have to live with fear taunting me as if it holds the future rather than my good Father. I can love people.
The list is long. It is a good and life-giving list. So I am shifting my gaze from my weakness to Jesus' strength, from my failures to his victory, and from my clay feet to his glorious face.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13