THE TAKE AWAY  



Stretch


By Kersley Fitzgerald





"Why is this happening to me?!" he exclaimed as he reached down to rub his aching foot.

I managed not to roll my eyes, but I nearly strained a forehead muscle in the process. The week was not going well, and it was only Tuesday. It had started during church, when Dev complained about being cold. A visit to Emergicare that evening declared "strep."

Monday began with the realization that JT's shoes were really, really too small and maybe this was causing his bad foot pain. So he had to wear my running shoes to school until we could get him new ones that evening. The morning was a mess of phone calls trying to get through to Dev's doctor so he could get a shot of antibiotics (he had strep so much as a kid the pills don't work). Meanwhile, I took the dog for a walk and noticed she was bleeding from places she shouldn't. Dev found out his doc was at home with a broken hip. His nurse finally got approval, but due to a mix-up at the pharmacy, it took an hour and a half waiting in the clinic before Dev could get the shot. I dropped him off at home and went to pick up JT from baseball practice, and then waited 45 minutes before he-with-the-new-cell-phone-but-forgot-it-at-home found a phone to ask where I was. Unfortunately, we were too late to get him new shoes because I needed to take the dog to the vet and spend $580.

Tuesday was looking better. I got to work, did some stuff, then left my fairly new laptop for prayer time. When I came back half an hour later, it was dead. Check-its-pockets-for-loose-change dead. The boss and I managed to get it apart — mostly. A 45-minute round trip to the computer repair shop was needed to get the last two tiny screws. Then we couldn't find the hard drive. It was the weirdest thing. There was the mother board, the CD/DVD drive, three speakers, and a very empty spot where the hard drive should have been. No YouTube video could help. There was simply no drive.

I was on hour three trying to find the thing, seriously considering direct demonic involvement, when JT called. Not only did his feet hurt, they were starting to go numb. That's probably not a good thing.

On Monday, I had been in full-on mission-from-God mode. I was doing all the things on very little sleep with little-to-no emotion. Besides all the crises around me, I was working two jobs that require a certain number of hours. But by Tuesday afternoon, I was done. I was done being intense and in control. It was out of my hands. I was actually looking forward to taking JT to the doctor because at that point I was happy to be able to do something productive.

By the grace of God, I was able to make him a doctor's appointment. We got seen quickly, and half an hour later had a prescription for arch supports. I walked and he hobbled across the clinic to the orthotics office. Fifteen minutes later, he was striding quickly to the car.

It was driving away from the clinic, to the shoe store, when he made his tortured cry. Luckily, I had an answer for that.

It's like when you lift weights, I said. If you just stay with the same weight, you'll maintain, but you won't get any stronger. You need to work, to strain — even be in pain — in order to grow. The same thing applies to our hearts. God gives us stressful situations so we learn to trust Him with bigger and bigger things. tweet So the next time, when Dad is sick and your feet fall off and the dog turns into a Martian, we can say, "No worries. God's got this." God will have stretched and grown our hearts so we can have peace.

We stopped at Chik-fil-A where he got a spicy chicken sandwich, then went to the store, where he found sneakers on sale. In size 8. When his previous shoes were size 5. Did I mention I wear a 7 in men's? And he's 9 inches shorter than me? The shoes-that-actually-fit combined with the arch supports were so wonderous he contemplated sleeping in them. We even had time for him to get a haircut.

When I got home, I called the boss. He found the hard drive, smaller than a single stick of gum, hidden under the motherboard. An adaptor is on its way, and I should have my data back by Thursday. Which is fine. I can still post to Blogos. Or maybe clean the storage room. Or shampoo the carpets. Dear Gwen finished my most urgent work for me. The computer repair shop will give us a free estimate. Dev is feeling well enough to fix dinner, and the dog finally ate her breakfast. I'm horribly short on hours, but I got to spend a pleasant day with my kid and even take a nap.
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5
This isn't about great and painful tragedies. A friend is currently struggling with medical bills and the effects of a long-term injury because of a blown-out knee. Another is in the hospital with pneumonia. This is more about little-to-medium dramas that add up over a short amount of time in an attempt to drown you. Like those evil compies in the movie Jurassic Park. Because, sadly, we are just as prone to lose our religion in traffic as we are in a surgeon's office. But if we know it, and remember what the purpose of trials is, we can not only get through it, but get stronger — be "more than conquerors."

The next morning JT jumped out of bed and hurried through his routine so he could get back into the size-8 sneakers with the arch supports. His foot pain is nearly gone. Dev is on the mend, and the dog actually ate her food.

But if Dev does get sick again, or JT's feet fall off, or the dog turns green and starts threatening us with ray guns, it'll be okay. God's got it, so we do, too.



Image Credit: Unsplash; untitled; Creative Commons



TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | God-Father  | Hardships  | Personal-Life



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Published 3-16-17