When I walked into the office at Loyalton High, where I worked, I was surprised to see that our son Josh hadn’t signed up for his second year of basketball.
When I saw him next and asked him about that, he said, “I’m not playing this year.”
When I asked why, he said, “Because of my knee.”
It turned out that many months before then he had ridden a four-wheeler at his friend’s house, flipped it, and been knocked unconscious, also damaging his knee. I’d never been told.
What his dad and I HAD told him years before was not to ride four-wheelers without our permission–for the very reason and consequences he was living out.
Then . . . there’s my story . . .
A few months later he had knee surgery. This was last thing the doctor told me: “Don’t keep lifting the ice machine and movement machine. I don’t want to see you in back surgery.”
But did I listen to that wise counsel? No. Every time Josh wanted to move to the living room to watch TV, I moved his large cooling machine filled with ice water and the beast of a movement machine that kept his joint limber. I’d lean over the bed and pick them up. Such a good mom, I thought.
Dumb. A month later I was flat in bed with what the emergency neurosurgeon said was the worst blown disc he’d ever seen.
When the Israelites were heading toward the Promised Land, God told them, “Do what I tell you; live what I tell you. I am God” (Lev. 22:31). In today’s world of I’ll-do-what-I-want-to-do, that sounds restrictive, controlling, unreasonable. But God knew that there would be influences in those new territories that would lead his people into self-destructive practices and nation-destroying confusion.
Following God is not restrictive. It brings about freedom–from guilt, from personal harm from others, from self-defeating behaviors. Doing the next right thing instead of operating from a what-feels-good mentality brings about peace and personal self-fulfillment. After all, I want to avoid further surgery–be it physical surgery or emotional surgery or spiritual surgery. I’m choosing wellness instead by choosing God’s ways.
In fact, I’ve found that by #lookingup, I am also looking out for myself.
Janet McHenry is the author of 24 books–six on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to connect with you: https://www.janetmchenry.com.
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