I said it.
Supposedly saying it makes one feel better.
AFOs – ankle foot orthotics. Little cages custom made for the area from the knee downward which holds the whole area in a stiff and unmovable position, with straps for goodness sake.
Girlie wears them because she prefers to have her foot in a position which is not helpful for standing, which might be good if and when we could actually motivate her to move in her gait trainer
This week we got the death sentence of AFOs – she must wear them 6 hours a day.
I don’t like the idea that I am making her, controlling her, from not being able to do her preference. Whether I like her preference with her feet or not, I don’t like the idea of forcing her to hold her feet a certain way.
We are very lucky that girlie does not have muscle contractions or muscle stiffness that we are fighting, just a preference to do her own thing.
In the same way, I much prefer to do my own thing. In fact, I don’t like anyone giving me tasks to do at all. I would prefer to do what I want to do, when I want to do it.
Suffering is much like an AFO. It holds one in place, constricting movement of any kind in any direction.
Suffering keeps me away from my preferences.
The book of James chapter 1 talks about “persevering under trials”. A little word study on “persevering” reveals some interesting truth. To persevere under trials means “to remain”, “to stay put”, to “not recede or flee from”.
To “persevere under trial” means, I must stay, I must not run away from, I must stay in the boat, I must bear up under it.
For there to be any benefit to suffering, trials, one must stay put in that place, up underneath of the suffering.
James talks about so many many benefits of suffering – testing of faith, endurance, maturity in Christ. (vs 1:2-4).
This persevering under suffering is a very rigid thing, like an AFO. It bends my will, but why? To bend my will to His will.
My will is being bent to match God’s will.
Suffering, that God allows, is doing that, does that, daily. Because He loves me.
Suffering changes me, down to my very core of who I am.
THIS is why suffering can be considered JOY.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NASB)