Stepping out on my walk one morning this week, I noticed a twinge of pain in my ankle. Having reached the stage of life where random pains come and go with great frequency, I decided to try to walk it off. By about a mile into my route, the pain had grown with every step and I was tempted to call for a ride. Instead, I stubbornly set my jaw, slowed my pace, and concentrated on trying not to limp.
I’d traveled about another half-mile, when I noticed the pain was gone, so I resumed my usual sprightly step. That pain never returned; not on the last half of my walk, and not since.
I am too old for growing pains, so I’m assuming what I felt was incipient arthritis. Still, after pondering the parallel to my spiritual walk, I have grown from my experience.
When pain and strife afflicts us in the midst of our routine (and not as the result of stepping off the narrow path), it is important to walk through it. If we slow our pace and set our hearts on going forward as the Lord leads, we often realize the painful situation has resolved itself. This was the lesson in trust God sent to me through my sore ankle.
Perhaps all our uncomfortable experiences contain similar wisdom to help us mature spiritually, if we simply keep walking the path set before us.