I hate crutches.
Prior to this week, I’d never needed to use crutches. As I was playing basketball this past Wednesday, I hyperextended my knee; I was shaken up but was able to walk off the injury and keep playing with no notice of lingering pain. Unfortunately, my knee swelled that evening and into the next day.
When I woke up the following morning, I unsuccessfully hobbled around my apartment trying to figure out how to get around. Eventually I called a friend whom I suspected had crutches.
Asking for crutches meant that I needed someone else’s help, which is a humbling experience. Actually using the crutches is more humbling yet. I felt clumsy and awkward, people tend to stare at you when you enter the room, and with my hands preoccupied I couldn’t even carry my own things. I was dependent on others aid.
Today I’m off the crutches and able to hobble around without support, but that doesn’t mean I’m without “crutches” per se. Physically I am able to walk again, but spiritually I am hobbling around and in need of others.
That’s not to say that I am worse off spiritually than I normally am, but that we all are limping around spiritually unable to help ourselves! We all are in need of crutches.
Many people talk about religion as if it is a crutch–something you use because you can’t support yourself. And to that I say–exactly! A crutch is only a bad thing if you do not need it (then it slows you down!). But the problem isn’t with the crutch, the problem is with the diagnosis!
If we think that we are healthy, then we are not going to think we need crutches. If you do need crutches, but you do not use them, you will acerbate the issue and stifle yourself further. So it is important to get a correct diagnosis!
The fact of the matter is we are broken and sinful creatures. There isn’t a religion in the world that won’t come to that conclusion. When we correctly recognize our brokenness, then we will willingly and wisely taken up our crutches that we might get better and be healed.
Taking up religion won’t make you perfect, just like a crutch won’t heal my knee. But it helps you get there on a lifelong journey of spiritual healing, growth, and submission to our Great Physician–Jesus Christ.
I need Him to support me and to guide me day by day, in spite of myself and my tendency to set aside my crutches and walk on my own to my own detriment.
I need Him to rescue the world from sin and brokenness and to make all things rights.
And when I am in my most pain and fear, I need to lean on Him and allow him to support and heal me.
I’m glad I have a good Doctor.