Hola mi amigos...LOL. I thought it would be awesome to start out with a Spanish introduction. For those who are not familiar with the Spanish language, let me translate: Hello my friends. I hope all is well and you are experiencing and desiring God to do amazing things in your lives. We may never meet one another, but I pray over all my blog posts and for every heart, set of eyes, ears, hands and feet that will see, receive and share these words from my heart that comes from God's loving heart to be blessed. Amen. Always know that in Christ Jesus, you have Someone who is praying for you and desires the best for you. YOU ARE LOVED.
Alright! Which chapter we're on? Oh yeah... Chapter 11 "Living Without Crutches." If there was ever a chapter that challenged me it is chapter eleven. Today is May 4, 2012 and I read chapter 11 yesterday, but you'll be reading this some time in June. How crazy is that?! I chuckle to myself now as I write this blog at my local Starbucks and I know I'm stalling. Why? Because my thoughts on chapter 11 are no longer fresh and I do not want to read the chapter again, but thanks be to God who uses all people in extraordinary ways, whether we know this or not to be a blessing to others. So with that said, I know God is going to hit a grand slam with this post as well. Amen. Okay Lord, do Your thing.
Chapter eleven, was a chapter that tested me. It caused me to ask myself questions that are hard for me to answer. Based on the title of the chapter in bold italics in the above paragraph, I heard a voice deep within me say to me to ask these questions to myself and to be honest when answering them. Here are those questions:
What is a crutch to you Flavio?
Are there any long term crutches in your life?
I'm not going to share to much about what Joel wrote in this chapter, but rather, I will share with you all some crutches I have had, experienced and witnessed along the way. For myself, and bear with me, I am being transparent before you so don't be quick to judge but quick to listen and have compassion on me. I have been a person who in his boredom has took to eating. Much of my weight gain has been due to this. I have known what it is to have family there to bail me out of trouble, and yes, having family to help out in times of need or trouble is a great thing, but if I become too comfortable with that help I will be crippling myself as I won't know how to find a solution on my own or know how to work through problems. I have also experience the crutch of relationships with the opposite sex. A crutch comes in many forms and if we're not careful we can find ourselves a cripple, not in the traditional sense, but practically unable to do for ourselves because we rely fully on others.
With that being said, let me share some definitions that Joel shared about the word crutch. "A crutch is a temporary tool we use for walking following an injury to a leg or foot. Once the injury is healed, we put the crutch away and walk on our own. The word crutch is also used to describe something or someone we may rely on short-term to help us get through a period of challenge. The term takes on a bad connotation, though, when used to describe something that we've become unnecessarily dependent upon, usually to the detriment of our physical, mental, or emotional progress.
A crutch is supposed to be temporary, just until we heal, or until we can get by on our own. It's not supposed to be permanent, even when our crutch is someone important to us. One of the hardest things to accept is that not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever. Some people are meant to be with you for the long-term, of course- your spouse, your children, your siblings, your parents, and your closest friends. But then there are those God brings across your path for a season, maybe a mentor, a teacher, or a guide of some sort to help you through a certain stage of life or a difficult time."
I have struggled with the above. Sometimes it's hard to let go of others, even when it's apparent that the time you had together is clearly over. That's when heartache and pain set in and before you know it, love becomes hate and eventually indifference where the relationship becomes irreparable. Sometimes people leave our lives. Whether a friendship, a romantic relationship, a co-worker, boss, even someone we did ministry with. As Joel shares, If God didn't move them away, we would become too dependent. Instead of helping us, they would hinder us. Their presence might limit our growth.
Joel also shares, that we 'have to be big enough to recognize when someone's part in our life story is over.' I believe this is paramount in having a healthy lifestyle. As I have been blessed by God to receive such advice early in my walk with Him, I pass it along to you. 'Everyone that comes into your life will always be a blessing to you whether you realize it then or later. They will either be in your life, "for a day, a season or a lifetime."'
I will share two more things I believed were a great blessing in this chapter to share with you all. I will list them as bullet points. Why? Because I think bullet points are cool.
- I've learned this: God will always bring the right people into your life, but you have to let the wrong people walk away. The right people will never show up if you don't clear out the wrong people.
- (This one is from a great story in the Bible about a man named Gideon, which takes place in Judges 6-7. Feel free to read up on Gideon's lesson and blessing and how from 32,000 soldiers God took it down to 300 and Gideon experienced victory by God's guidance and promises.) Whether we believe it's all about the quantity that secures us victory, with God, it's about quality. It's not important how many you have on your side. What is important is having the right people on your side.
Being a crutch or having a crutch for a short amount of time is a blessing from God. Long term crutches in any sense hinder us from becoming all that God has created us to become. But, having the right people in our lives is not a dime a dozen. It's not about the quantity but the quality of relationships we forged over time in our lives that will matter most. Only when we surround ourselves with those who will invest in our lives to the point they are giving more than they are taking, that is when we'll experience growth that will surpass all our expectations. In that! We will give all the glory to God. Amen.
A quick prayer. Father God, thank you for doing Your thing in this blog. You totally hit a grand slam...as always. Help us to choose the right people and let go of the wrong. Help us to rise above our crutch and rely on You to get us to where You have us to go. We thank You and give You all the glory and praise. In Jesus name. Amen.
As always...YOU ARE LOVED.