Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

A New Perspective on Setbacks

on January 29, 2015

Yesterday, as I was coming home from a good workout, I was feeling so thankful for some progress in regaining strength after my extended illness over Christmas Break. I was also proud of myself for getting exercise in every day this week so far.  I felt joy and hope like I haven’t felt for weeks!  Victory was mine!

Just as I reached our back door, I slipped on some ice, fell forward, and banged my knees on the cement step.  Fear gripped my heart as I relived the tail-bone-breaking incident of what we now call Buttkill Falls.  I feared a setback.

I picked myself up and took a few tentative steps. My right knee hurt the worst, but I could still walk.  It was scraped and already bruising. As I limped into the house, the internal monologue began… just like Adam and Eve, the original sinners, I wanted someone to blame, and my husband was the first victim. “I can’t believe he didn’t clear off this walk all the way!  Doesn’t he know that’s not safe?! What if one of the kids fell….” Yes, my poor husband. 🙂

But I didn’t stop there. Like the Israelites in the wilderness, free from the wrath of Egypt yet still not content, I began to question the Lord Himself. “Why, Lord? Are you really going to allow me to be injured again just when I’ve found a good rhythm with my health goals?  Why am I being punished for doing what is right? I’ve worked so hard. Why didn’t you help me, keep me from falling?”

Exodus 17:2-3

So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” (empahsis mine)

As soon as the prideful thoughts entered my mind, I knew I was wrong – wrong to blame my husband, even more so, wrong to blame my Father God.  And wrong to think that my “good efforts” excused me from any sort of pain or suffering.

You see, fear took over for a few moments. I was afraid that another injury would keep me from meeting my health goals. I was afraid that another setback might discourage me to the point of giving up – a pattern that has repeated itself over and over again where my health is concerned. I was afraid of failing. I was afraid I would not be able to persevere!

Conviction stung my heart for my sinful thoughts, for my desire to lash out at someone else in my frustration.  “I just want God to help me,” I tried to reason within myself.

But maybe He already had…

Maybe His best help was to allow me to fall.

Yes, I mean it, truly. While it’s not wrong to be excited about the progress I saw, the Father gently showed me that, once again,  I was beginning to rely on self alone and not Him.  Perhaps I needed that fall to remind me that I will only conquer this battle with health and weight by His power and strength. I cannot do it on my own. Without even realizing it, I had slowly slipped back into my “can-do” attitude.

I can do it.

I’ve got this.

I don’t need You right now…

Does it sound familiar, friends?  How many times a day do I catch myself relying on my own efforts instead of Him? How many times do we deny the power of Christ in us, in favor of our own human strength? How often do we place our trust in self alone?

You think I would have learned the lesson by now. He’s only been trying to teach me for the last thirty-plus years! 🙂  It’s that work-in-progress that I’m always talking about – aiming toward progress, not perfection.

I’ll make mistakes.

You’ll make mistakes, too.

Sometimes the setback is a wake-up call to our own sin. And often the best help our Father God can offer is letting us fall, just as we have to allow our own children to fall at times.  It’s one of the most difficult, yet most loving things we can do as parents, yes?

A New Perspective on Setbacks, setbacks to your goals when you face a setback, dealing with setbacks

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

He lets us fall, so that we might see Him, so that we might throw off self and run to His arms instead!

He lets us fall because He loves us too much not to.

It’s the best help He can give –

helping us turn from self to Savior!

Jen 🙂

Side note: My knees seem to be okay, Praise the Lord! One is a little swollen and bruised, but so far only injured externally, from what I can tell. I’m incredibly thankful for His mercy.

Sharing with: Grace and Truth


13 responses to “A New Perspective on Setbacks

  1. Jen, thanks for posting this. I agree with you. Lately, there have been many “storms” in my life that have caused me to re-evaluate my ability to do it in my own strength and to recognize that I am limited in my humanity. And, yes, sometimes He lets us fall. And, sometimes, He demonstrates His power in our weakness, as we yield to Him. I’m glad to hear that your knees are okay. 🙂 Blessings. Krista @shedarestovoice

    • Hi, Krista! I’m always glad to hear that I’m not alone in my struggles. My life has been full of storms lately, too, but I’m learning (a little at a time) to ask God to help me see the opportunities in them. I’m so thankful He is strong for us – that we don’t have to do it alone! Thanks for leaving some encouraging words here today.
      Jen 🙂

      • 🙂 Nope, you’re not alone. You know what the not-so-funny thing is? That’s just what the enemy wants us to believe so that we feel sad, depressed, lonely–which, for many women, causes them to isolate themselves even further and to disengage with their Heavenly Father. So glad you are connecting, engaging, and listening to His quiet and still voice. 🙂 Blessings.

      • Yes, so true! He is very tricky that way if we’re not aware. 🙂

  2. Today must be workout setback day!!! so glad the injury wasn’t worse and you have a great attitude to see the silver lining!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Uh-oh, did you have a setback, too? It can be so frustrating when you’re working so hard. 🙂

      • I just posted today about being home bound because my lower back wasn’t cooperating and it took until after lunch before I could stand upright all the way. I told Mom I felt like someone needed to hold me by my ears and jiggle me until everything fell back in alignment!! 🙂 so discouraging when you actually WANT to workout and can’t!! 🙂

      • Aw, man, that stinks! Yes, I know that feeling well. I hope it’s just a temporary thing for you!!

  3. Sorry to hear about your fall but your right, He lets us fall because He loves us and want His best in our lives that we would rely on Him. His Grace is sufficient! Thank you for sharing this. Linking up with Grace and truth. Have a beautiful weekend, Tammy

  4. Well, friend, I’m glad you haven’t renamed your steps, KneeKill Stoop!! Seriously, though, I’m so glad you are okay. I’m so glad God is patient with us and our propensity toward self-sufficiency, and pride. He has to be patient with me A LOT!!

    • Haha, yes, He is perfectlyvpatient and always faithful! I walked today for over 30 minutes, and other than a bit of soreness, everything feels fine. But the lesson was needed!
      Jen 🙂

  5. Arabah Joy says:

    Oh yes He keeps us on our knees, reliant on Him alone. Sometimes literally 🙂 Great post, friend. Glad to hear your knees are better!

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