I have never been the graceful sort. When I was growing up I am sure that my parents thanked the Lord they had good insurance. I was always falling, and since I was a calcium deficient, moose of a girl that normally resulted in broken bones. This trend of grace, or lack there of, continued into my years as a teen. I still kept falling down. I fell so frequently that when my parents heard several moderate bumps in succession they just yelled “Amber, are you ok?”
You can imagine my parents worry when I went to them and told them that at the clumsy age of 20, I was ready to move out of the house. They were obviously concerned that I had been seduced by the idea of living away from home and the freedom it offered. They were right, but I wasn’t ready to admit it. So, despite their objections I secured a spot with a roommate in this shady little apartment close to my college campus. I was enchanted. They were horrified. God was prepared to hold both of us through it.
Two weeks before I was to move out I decided to shoot a little basketball in our broken and uneven driveway. To match my athletic ability I chose the appropriate footwear: a pair of clunky gladiator sandals. I might have gotten off a couple of shots before I fell, I don’t really know, all I know is that my sandal caught the lip of the pavement during a jump shot. Down I went, in a writhing blaze of glory, and landed squarely on my elbow. I ended up with a hairline fracture and an arm length cast. My sentence? Two weeks.
My injury did more than just tear the heck out of my elbow, it also severely wounded my pride. My parents and I had been barely speaking over our differences. Now, with an arm length and the complete inability to take care of things, I had to start asking for help. A friend of mine saw the symphony of chaos in my life and lovingly suggested God might be the conductor.
“You ever read Psalm 23?” she asked.
I told her yes, but in a snippy “I’ve got a broken elbow” kind of way. She went on to tell me that in Psalm 23 David writes that the good shepherd “makes” him lie down in green pastures. The wording suggests that David isn’t really keen on the idea of lying down, yet God, being the good shepherd he is, MAKES David take a seat, because the green pasture is for his own good. She suggested that maybe God, knowing what was best for me and my parents, was making me lie down for the next two weeks.
That lesson didn’t make the two weeks any easier. God didn’t magically give me the ability to brush my hair, or write my name legibly, but knowing God might being using it helped. It gave me hope. It let me know that sometimes when God puts circumstances in our paths, at what seem to be the most inopportune times, he might just be making us lie down, and for our own good at that.