by Joanie Butman
Driving by a chiropractor’s office this week, I chuckled at his signage, “CRAWL-INS WELCOME!” Undoubtedly, Anyone suffering from chronic pain or even episodic pain would find his message alluring. I know people who swear by the healing powers of chiropractors, touting them as miracle workers. I have benefitted from their expertise on more than one occasion. The only issue is that they promote ongoing adjustments as the key to long lasting results. Perhaps I’m a cynic, but I was suspect of the steady income they would reap by this maintenance regimen. I couldn’t justify the out-of-pocket expense since I was no longer in pain, and those services weren’t covered by insurance. I’m probably not alone in my approach which is, once the pain is alleviated, I stop going. Until, of course, it happens again.
It immediately occurred to me that the message would be an excellent divine billboard. Not that there aren’t exceptions, but based on my own observations, it’s how most people finally seek spiritual treatment – on their knees. You can probably all relate to a time when you reached the end of yourself and had been paralyzed by crippling pain/circumstances. Times when it became abundantly clear that total surrender to God was the only antidote. Moments when we finally realize that in His care alone will we find the necessary strength, comfort, wisdom and perseverance to cure or cope with the issue at hand.
As I mentioned, there are those whose spiritual journey isn’t prompted by pain. Kudos to them for nurturing that relationship BEFORE they’re brought to their knees – because eventually they will be, of that I’m certain. No one gets through life unscathed. And how many of us refuse the proffered maintenance program and drift away from God once the pain has subsided only to return on an emergency basis. How crazy is this behavior? There’s no cost to us. Christ offers life-time coverage. Yet, we continue to stubbornly try to do it on our own power despite a lifetime of experience proving otherwise.
Much of Jesus’ time in the desert was spent on His knees in preparation for what was to come. What better way for us to choose to observe the Lenten season than in preparation for what lies ahead for us. Regardless of who you are or where you are in your journey, we all need daily (if not hourly) spiritual adjustments to keep us functioning at peak performance – especially when we find ourselves crawling in the proverbial desert.
As humans, one of our biggest issues is that we forget who we are, or more accurately, whose we are. When Jesus set off into the desert, His hair was probably still wet from His baptism with His Father’s voice still fresh in His ear, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The enemy's strategy is always the same, to cast doubt on that truth. It would behoove us to choose to follow Christ’s example and cling to the certainty of who we are as beloved children of God. It is that truth that will give us the power to crawl out of any circumstance into the everlasting arms of our Father who is waiting to embrace us and declare the same over us.