For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
A friend from my Bible study once told me that God always has us exactly where He wants us. That friend, Tracy, ended up becoming one of the many therapists I called on to help me with balance training over the years.
Friends who bring God’s promises to me are the most precious kind of companion! We all need friends that we can see God working through. Because of the daily challenges I live with, I see God working through others all the time.
How are we bringing Christ into others’ lives? Can we offer our assistance with a challenge they are facing…or introduce them to someone who can? Sometimes just offering encouragement and hope is the most immediate and profound assistance we can offer. It’s not necessary to be in church or Bible study. We can bring Christ into someone’s life just by letting them know we were thinking of them.
So if God has us exactly where He wants us right now, what does He want us to do?
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Psalm 143:10-11 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit can place us in situations or with others we can help. Sometimes He will even prompt us with the right words to enlighten or encourage them. Or maybe we’ll find ourselves in a place where we’ll finally decide to help ourselves. That’s what He did for me!
Since my natural balance was taken away by my traumatic brain injury (TBI), I’ve had to retrain my body to balance all over again, just like a child. Like most children, it’s easy to lose my focus and go on to something I deem more pressing. So here I am, 23 years later, still trying to improve my balance.
I believe the Lord used all my downtime during this pandemic to push me toward doing something to finally address the balance problem I’ve been dealing with for years. Why have I not done this sooner? Like all of us, I like to see immediate results for my efforts. Balance training takes time and won’t burn as many calories as a gym workout. Yes, I’ve been obsessed with burning calories ever since I ran my first mile. And there are ONLY so many hours in the day!
Since all the fitness classes I teach have stopped operating during COVID, I found myself with ample time on my hands. My friend, Joyce suggested I begin writing a blog. That’s how this blog Life Happens was created.
With no morning OR afternoon classes to teach, I had no excuse for not getting involved with a physical therapy program again. Haven’t I always pledged my allegiance to becoming more mobile? All I needed was a doctor’s order. My brother, John (aka my primary care physician) faxed an order over the same day. So I am once again placing my hope in physical therapy to improve my mobility.
I believe the Holy Spirit prompted me this time…disguised as COVID and unemployment. I believe God leads us to do the next best thing we can do. This seemed like the best thing I could do not only to improve my own balance, but to give pointers to my students when classes resume again. I’m relying on my physical therapist, Denny to provide my continuing education.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
I know I’ve used this Bible verse before. It is on a post-it note in my bathroom to see every morning as I walk out the door.
If God prepares our good works in advance, our job is simply to figure out what those good works are. Most times it’s pretty obvious what God wants us to do. When it’s not, a simple question we can ask ourselves is, “How will my actions be a benefit to others?” When our decisions and actions help other people, we can feel confident that the Lord is using us to bless others.
One afternoon when I was in the middle of a rare, but real ‘pit-party’ about my lack of human contact during this pandemic, my phone rang. It was a business-owner named Liz who was organizing exercise classes for stroke survivors. After seeing my SilverStrength® website, she inquired if I would be interested in teaching zoom classes. I didn’t think I could perform a zoom class without special cameras. I discovered I could as Liz walked me through it on zoom.
I hung up the phone and said, “Thank you God!” out loud. Was He preparing me to do His handiwork? I did not want to let Him (or Liz) down. It had been months since I led a class. Did I remember how to teach?
In ten years of leading fitness classes, I never wrote my exercise routines down on paper. I created them in my mind, practiced them in front of a mirror, and performed them in two, sometimes three classes a day. Then COVID hit. I found myself with nothing to refer back to for guidance once I started teaching again. I had to create them all again. THIS time I wrote them down!
The Lord was giving me a chance to feel useful again. He was also challenging me to design a class for a different audience than I usually worked with. I love a challenge! Of course, He knew that.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16 (NIV)
I believe God knows the challenges we are going to face BEFORE we encounter them. He puts people in our lives to get or keep us moving in the right direction. In a previous blog, Be Transformed (https://mvarga.com/spiritual-insights/be-transformed/), I wrote the Transformation prayer I pray every morning. It ends with, “Show me what you want me to do…and I will do it.”
If God has us exactly where He wants us…we need to trust Him to show us what to do where He has us.
You know our comings and goings. You see how they interface with the world around us. Teach us to trust that You have us where You want us at any point in time.
How many times do we think, “WHAT NOW?” You know where we’re supposed to be. Guide us to perceive what You want us to do for… and through others.
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