The brace is there right next to my bed, the last thing I take off at night and the first thing I put on in the morning. It bothers me that I need it. I don’t like being reminded of my weakness.
I slip my left thumb into the hard plastic support. With the extra firmness of the metal encased inside I feel a little more stable and secure. The extra support of the two narrow strips encompassing my left hand brings a sense of comfort. The two slim slices of Velcro wrap me in and I am good to go.
I can’t grip jar lids now–I hand those to my husband. Buttoning buttons proves to be a daunting task these days–you absolutely need two hands and my thumb just has no strength for pushing through button holes. I can’t even hook on my bras in the morning–again, the husband.
I think of my thumb brace as I ponder my demeaning thoughts this morning about a friend at church.
I have been soooooo judgmental of her. Well, in a good, Christianese-y kind of way.
I mean, I have my reasons for my concerns. How can she call herself a believer and spend her time the way she does? It’s such a waste. Why isn’t she ________ (fill in the blank) like I am? Anyone who’s mature enough in the Lord can see right through her.
Why does she keep turning to so many fleshly things to help her in her daily life? God is all she needs, what is her problem?
What’s the connection?
Well, here’s the thing–I need help in many ways to handle the physical challenges of my life. Why would anyone begrudge me the need of my thumb brace if it gets me through my daily tasks? I have orthotics in my Skechers, I need glasses to see….the list goes on and on.
I am weak and broken in many places. Physically.
But what about spiritually? I am weak and broken and needy and healed and failing and falling and healed and over and over it goes. Jesus continues to peel off the layers of my shell of protection so He can get to the parts of me that need His touch.
But He doesn’t berate me for needing him–He comes with gentleness and patience and over and over again says, “Yes, Jody, we’ve been here before, but you’re getting better at saying yes.”
I’ve had friends come along side me all through my walk to give me the support I need to make it on this journey. We are all in different places on the path. We get distracted and wander off, we fall down and need a Band-Aid (or a crutch). We could be clapping on the sidelines or walking with someone along the way, hands on their shoulders encouraging them on.
We all need props and encouragement and grace. And love, not judgment, when we are weak.
What’s your prop today? Are you leaning on Jesus? I know I am.
23 thoughts on “Props”
Jennifer, you are so kind. Thank you for your encouragement.
Jody. … And so, I didn't think I could love you any more than I did. And now this… I didn't realize all the things you're dealing with. And yet? Your words and life always point to Him. So grateful for your testimony and your example. xo
Nancy, you are the best. Thank you so much, friend.
It's me again! Wanted to let you know I highlighted your wonderful blog in my post today, over at From the Inside Out. ALL GOOD, dear friend!
ahhhh, Kath. Thank goodness we are still listening and learning! Thanks for reading.
Very well said, Jody, you have expressed some of the lessons that the Lord has been teaching me directly over the last while. Lately one of my favorite songs has been Lord, I need you by Matt Mahrer. Thanks for the encouraging thoughts
Dolly, thanks for your encouragement. Isn't our Father patient with us? Blessings to you, too.
Nancy, you are such an encouragement…..and yes, our God is SO patient with us 'older' folks. I appreciate you.
You bring such smiles to my face. Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂
Oh, Carol, your sweet words bless me. Thank you for reading!
Jody. So blessed to have crossed paths with you. I have to put on a Metatarsal foot strap every morning can't walk without it (after 3 foot surgeries) but I thank God I am walking. Gods Grace carries us through & His mercy is new every morning. Thanking Him to be able to give Grace to others. Thank you for being transparent & reminding us to keep our eyes on Jesus!
Props to you Jody! I am applauding you from the sidelines…thank you for so authentically and vulnerably sharing what I am often reluctant to admit out loud…thanks for reminding me/us to lean on Jesus and trust him to teach us the lessons over and over again with gentleness and love
This statement of yours, Jody, grabbed my attention: “Jesus continues to peel off the layers of my shell of protection so He can get to the parts of me that need His touch.” But! You make the important point that he proceeds lovingly and gently–not with judgment and derision in his voice. In fact, the response you hear from him speaks such encouragement to my heart: “Yes, Jody, we've been here before, but you're getting better at saying yes.” Thanks to you, I can hear him speak those words to me, too!
Hi Jody Lee,
Yes, so true…we all need grace and love in our weaknesses, physical or otherwise…I have minor physical difficulties, but they are enough to let me know that I cannot make it without God (2 Cor. 12:9-10)…and other struggles…Thankful God gently guides and leads…blessings to you 🙂
Hi Jody Lee! Oh, I'm rocking orthotics in my shoes too.
I love the idea of clapping on the sidelines. Aren't we all here to encourage each other, and learn too? You have seen that in your friends, and your blog-friends too. Jesus doesn't berate, but holds and encourages. What a great model.
PLEASE go to my blog today and see the video there. It is so encouraging, so supporting. It's about three and a half minutes, not long. But it touches me so much every time I see it. It speaks very well to your theme of encouragement today!
Happy Tuesday 🙂
Mia, so true! Thanks for reading.
Yes, my friend, even when mature believers really have to talk to someone about overt sin, it must be done with much love and gentleness. But judging, not our prerogative! I like the way Paul tells us to go and talk to someone who wronged you in private. We all need that kind of love.
So thankful for YOU, friend.
Oh, Jesus, continue to write those words on our hearts….thanks for reading, Lyli.
Hmmmm…..Margo, that quote keeps things in perspective, doesn't it?
“Love, not judgment, when we are weak.” <<< This is going in my journal right now. Thank you :)
We all need … each other, eh?
So true friend! I read this on Pinterest last night…It was an “OH” moment for me:
“Don't judge her, you don't know what storms I've had her go through” —God.
Hugs to you my Sister! <3