January 9, 2014
READ: Hebrews 12:1-13
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees (v.12).
After some knee surgery, I was unprepared for the level of physical therapy required to restore my range of motion. According to my physical therapist, the surgical procedure had caused trauma to my leg and my muscles had shut down. Years of physical movement had been undone in 20 minutes. But I had to commit to the process of healing. Some days were tedious, some were downright painful. But the choice was clear: I would either have to push through the hurt to find healing, or I could avoid it and remain disabled.
A relational wound is no less traumatic. Much like a muscle responding to surgery, painful circumstances leave us feeling helpless and unable to experience a normal range of emotions. Whether the injury came as a result of our own failings or the actions of others, we can’t experience healing without the power of the cross. In our pursuit of restoration, we must:
Capture God’s vision for something greater than what we’re currently experiencing by keeping our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2, 2:9-10).
Persevere in our painful circumstances as Jesus perfects our faith. He set the example for us by willingly going to the cross (12:2-3; Isaiah 53:5).
Trust in the Father’s love, even when He disciplines us and shows us things we need to change (Hebrews 12:5-7; Revelation 3:19).
As God rebuilds our lives, we must submit to His work. For only He can bind up our broken hearts (Isaiah 61:1) as we “take a new grip with [our] tired hands and strengthen [our] weak knees” and “mark out a straight path for [our] feet” (Hebrews 12:13). He restores as we choose to pray and obey. —Regina Franklin
› Genesis 12:1-9; 17:1-8
Read Ruth 1:1-22 and 4:1-17 and consider God’s redemptive, restorative process in Ruth’s life. How might her life have been different if she had chosen bitterness over vulnerability?
In what areas have you been spiritually disabled because of difficult or even traumatic experiences? What does restoration in these areas practically require of you?