Walking Similar Paths

Seven years ago when Thomas was in his first U.S. Junior event, it was held in St. Louis at Deer Valley Country Club, one of the prettiest places I have ever been. The most memorable thing about that tournament is the fact that I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and on the way back to bed hit my little toe head on with the bed post, splitting it away from my other 4 toes. Yes, I broke my pinkie toe.

Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much the rest of the night and hobbled around the rest of the tournament with a very swollen, blue baby toe. It hurt so bad but there is nothing you can do for a broken toe!!! I haven’t thought about it much since, until Monday of this past week when Thomas came home and showed me his toes…..blue and broken…it made my skin crawl because I immediately could feel the pain in my little toe…..even though it has been healed for a very long time. I don’t think I could have identified with Thomas at all unless I had gone through the ordeal of having a broken toe. Seriously, some of the things that came out of his mouth about his toe, walking and putting on shoes, sleeping, or better stated, turning in your sleep and having the cover weigh on your broken toe……I really could relate to everything he was saying.

The most valuable lesson in this for me is: you have no idea what someone feels unless you walk down a similar path……….The path of sin, for example…..sins we struggle with. I wish I could say I/we don’t struggle with sin, but we do. And, if we are really honest, we all struggle with certain things more than others……for example…my struggle is with the tongue…..they say your greatest strength can be your greatest weakness and I really agree with that thought. I have made great strides but have a long way to go in allowing God to help me use my tongue correctly. I am intentional in working on it, to the point God is doing His part in helping me. Our lesson in Sunday School recently was on the tongue…..I am a public speaker so the tongue is my strength but it is my weakness as well.

I don’t struggle with alcohol or drugs….not a challenge for me……but for some it is…….for some people they have to work on addictions or abuse of a substance …….and for some, maybe they have to work on their thoughts….some people commit murder in their thoughts daily……maybe they can control their tongue but their thoughts are just as wicked…..or maybe the person overeats and struggles with food as a comfort…….or someone who just doesn’t like to work….laziness…….the point I am trying to make…..is just because it isn’t our “broken toe” doesn’t mean it is not a painful reality to someone else. Something they desire God to heal in their life. WE are all a work in progress….. and, prayerfully, we are seeking God’s help for that is where we find…the ability to change. WE cannot do it in our own strength…..

On the Front 9, I was very convicted in my mid-forties about being judgmental……meaning….I looked at the things others struggled with as greater sins, just because I didn’t struggle with that particular thing……today……I am so much more at peace and am able to love others through their shortcomings a lot more easily. It is easier when I realize and understand my sin struggle (broken toe) is going to be different from someone else’s struggle. I don’t have the whole picture and most of the time never will…. if I just focus on my broken toe and maybe turn and help someone coming behind me with the “same kind of break” then that is where I need to live, all the while praying for God to help others with their “broken bones”.

I am so thankful for the words found in Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

I am thankful as well that I don’t live in the days of the Old Testament. I would have to keep a supply of goats, among other animals, on hand! Just read Numbers 15:27-28 for yourself. “‘But if just one person sins unintentionally, that person must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest is to make atonement before the Lord for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made, that person will be forgiven.'” Whew, and that is just one example.

We are all broken somewhere……it just may not be in the same place. Realizing this truth has brought much freedom……”Being the Junior Holy Spirit” is not a role God ever intended for us to have. It is actually a crafty tool of Satan…..to trick us into thinking it is our place to convict. We can allow God to give us sound mind and judgment, but we need to leave the “convicting part” to a HOLY God.

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