My wife was reading a book to me as we were stuck in traffic on I-77 just south of Charlotte the other day. Some joker fell asleep and ran into a sign along the edge of the interstate, so the North Carolina Department of Transportation shut the interstate down for the better part of the day. Yay… memories.
The book is somewhat biographical in nature, and the story was engaging. The writer of the book had been through a remarkable amount of trauma and consequently reconstructive surgery. I have a six-inch screw in my left foot, so I could kind of sympathize.
At one point during the author’s recovery, his doctors instructed him that they would need to remove a metal sheath that protected his femur. While this metal has protected his bone and gave it an opportunity to heal, it was also damaging them.
The doctors pointed out that the longer the metal plate remained, the more dependent the bone would become on the strength from the metal and the weaker it became on it’s own.
While my wife was reading that to me, I was reminded of how Jesus often changes and alters the trajectory of our lives because the familiar erodes faith. Its quite easy to trust within a context that factors to be predictable. Real trust, the kind Jesus demands, isn’t predicated on the outcome, its mandated by the person the trust is placed in.
I think we are a lot like bones. Even good things, things that heal and restore, can, in themselves, become something we lean on for strength. The ends of that is a whole different kind of breaking.
Sometimes, for our own good, we are made to be weak, so that through Jesus we might be made strong. That weakness is full of hurt, pain, and struggle, but it leads to whole life. In the end, that is what Jesus offers.