My posture has not been great for a while. To be honest, I'm a sloucher. I noticed it in pictures or when I drive long distances. "I need to get a posture helper!" I muttered to myself in the car as I sat up straighter. Surely, they make such a thing!
A few weeks ago, I began having pain in my shoulder that seemed to decrease when I straightened up. I researched posture controllers online and placed an order. Sometimes we just need a little help straightening up.
There's a story in the Bible about a woman who couldn't straighten up on her own. It tells of a woman who hadn't been able straighten up for 18 years-almost two decades! In Luke 13, Jesus called her over, told her she was set free from her infirmity, then He put His Hands on her. She straightened up and praised God! She straightened up! It gets better every time I say it! For 18 years she had looked down and no doubt been looked down upon. I can't begin to imagine how she had ached all those years-cramps in the lower back, the legs Surely, she had tried different methods of treatment, to no avail. But this day on the Sabbath even, it was her day to be healed! I feel like she might have done a little jig. Or a big jig!
When I first read the story of the woman who couldn't straighten up on her own, it made me think of girls I am often with at the jail. So many of them are very addicted to drugs. They long to "straighten up." They WANT to "straighten up" but keep trying to do it on their own. They can't do it on their own. They need help. We know that Jesus can still work miracles and we tell them so. There's no situation that is too difficult for Him! (On Easter Sunday, seven ladies gave their hearts to Jesus! PTL!)
I got my "posture controller brace" in record time. I anxiously opened the package and slipped it on. (There were no instructions.) It was interesting, this posture controller brace. There was a stiff plate/board thingy that was attached to two arm slingy things with adjustable straps. After several adjustments I have realized several things physically and spiritually.
Straightening up may not look cool to some people. From the front, when I put it on, it looks like I am wearing a backpack. (My daughter called me "Dora, the Explorer." Funny girl.) When we follow Jesus, there will be doubters, scoffers. Just keep moving forward.
Straightening up can cause wrinkles. Change can cause wrinkles in our foreheads or around the eyes, but my back straightener causes wrinkles in my shirts! Let's not get wrinkles from worrying, but from smiling instead!
Straightening up is not always comfortable.
Straightening up requires doing things differently. I'm having to stand and walk in a different way. I NEED to stand and walk in a different way! Jesus can help us as we make needed changes to obey Him. When we follow Him, He will help us stand and walk differently, too in the paths of righteousness!
Straightening up was crucial to my quality of life. If I did nothing, nothing changed. Spiritually speaking, doing nothing is not a good option. Jesus loves us but loves us too much to leave us where we are!
When we truly meet Jesus, He is the One that can help us straighten up! We have the Bible, God's Word, to give us wisdom, strength, and guidance and the Holy Spirit inside to comforts us!
One more thing about my posture control brace-or my "straightener" as I like to call it now. It makes me feel "held", embraced even. That probably sounds silly, but I feel like it's holding me tight. In Psalm 139, one of my favorite chapters, David is asking where on earth one might go without God's Spirit knowing or finding us. Verses nine-10 remind me, "If I rise on 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." Mmmm. "Hold me fast" - I love that part!
There's always hope with Jesus! He is in the straightening up business! Proverbs 3:6 seems to fit perfectly"In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your back straight." I mean "paths" straight!
Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.