I have cracked bones before, but have never needed crutches to help me get around. I’ve been blessed to have only done minor damage to a few bones – a cracked rib and a toe or two. One of my pinkie toes was cracked pretty badly (I guess, it sure hurt like the dickens when I ran into the chair), so I can now move it to a 90 degree angle sideways. This both delights and freaks out my Sunday School kids. The boys yell, “Let me see it again, Ms. Kim!” and the girls simultaneously cry out, “Oooo, gross, stop!” However, even though I’ve only cracked bones, there have been many times when I needed a crutch.
Recently I had a conversation with a very dear friend who has battled cancer over the last few years. He’s now in remission but still suffers from residual effects of both the disease and the treatments. Regardless of whether he’s having a good day or a bad day, he is always optimistic and has something positive to say. When I remarked on this, he was quick to give God the credit for his upbeat attitude. This led to a discussion on how we’ve been able to endure the trials of life not through our own strength, but because we had God’s strength to uphold us and carry us through. In other words, God is our crutch.
Some people may argue that relying on God is for those who are too weak in character to make it on their own. I counter this position by saying it’s not a weakness any more than the need to eat and sleep is a weakness. God didn’t create us to find our own way in life alone; He designed us to depend on Him. When you have faith in Him and exercise that faith, it is only then that you can have the exceptional ability to reach beyond our own limited strength and knowledge and draw from God’s infinite strength and knowledge. Psalm 100:3 reads:
Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
When we talk about having faith and a belief that God will carry you through your trials, it’s in a very specific way. It’s not about an exercise in positive thinking or meditation, but rather faith that is grounded in a personal relationship with God. He will make a way for you to endure your troubles, but you have to first believe that He will. It is from this belief that you take the first step in faith that He is going to hold you up and take you through it. Just as the purpose of a crutch is to take the weight from limbs that cannot bear it, so God will take your burdens and give you His strength to enable you to move forward.
Sadly, many of us respond in other ways before turning to God for help in times of trouble. We may repeat what we’ve tried many times before without success (the definition of insanity, right?). For example, someone who has dieted many times may once again reach for the latest miracle pill, supplement, detox program or quick weight-loss plan, convinced that this time it will work. We try harder to overcome personal problems, patterns, habits or addictions by using the same methods that have failed in the past. If you have tried on your own without success, you know that trying again in your own strength is not the answer.
Another typical response to dealing with difficulties is to simply not deal with it, to stop trying completely. These people decide that the situation is completely hopeless and give up trying at all. They believe they will never lose weight, they will never be able to overcome the yearning for alcohol or drugs, they will never be able to resist the temptation of pornography or sexual sins, never make it through a painful situation, etc. However, trying to make it on your own strength and resources is futile and leads to a complete loss of hope.
But no matter how desperate and hopeless things may seem at bad times in your life, it is when you come to the end of yourself that hope actually begins. When you realize that you are helpless without God, it is then you are ready to ask Him for help. The minute you ask Him for help, He takes the weight and all of His resources are available to you.
Regardless of what you are struggling with, through God’s power you can go beyond anything you ever thought possible. He will get you through any painful circumstance and help you deal with difficult circumstances. Whatever it is that you’re going through, God will make a way for you to get through it. He has promised that if you say yes to Him, He will not leave you and will provide what you need.
Yes, I have needed God as a crutch in different seasons of my life – divorce, alcoholism, sexual sin, weight loss as well as for the daily trials and temptations I face. When I have tried to get through it or overcome it on my own, I failed. When I have said yes, given my burdens to Him and used His strength to move forward, the end result hasn’t always been as I expected; it was better than anything I could have ever imagined for myself. God never wants anything lesser for you, He always wants better!
For a Christian, allowing God to be your crutch is not a weakness, it’s a necessary part of your life. If you have never accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, or not even sure if you want to, talk with someone today who you know is a Christian. Find a Bible-teaching church and attend on Sunday or a weeknight study. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with someone, email me at email@example.com. When you open the door even the tiniest bit to allow Jesus into your heart, you will have more joy than you can possibly imagine, and a crutch that will never fail to hold you and carry you through all of life’s circumstances.
Psalm 139:7 – 10: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Father God, You are truly an awesome God! Thank You for giving me the gift of a new day and the gift of Your strength when I need it to get through the tough times. Thank You that You will always be with me, will never fail me and only want the best for me. In Jesus’ most precious and holy name I pray, Amen.