How to run again after a fall

Those who trust in the Lord receive new strength...
they will run & not get tired  {Isaiah 40:31}

The morning I decided to get outside & go on a run the sun was shining brightly & it was a gorgeous day.  It was already quite warm in the middle of the Texas summer even early in the day, but still perfect for getting out for a little exercise.  Lost in my own thoughts as I ran, I totally missed seeing an uneven segment in the concrete.  My foot hit the edge of the segment & I tripped & fell.  I not only fell but I was propelled forward in my fall & my shoulder skidded across the hot pavement.  My knee & hands got a little beat up, but the majority of the impact took its toll on my shoulder.  I had a very large wound & now have a scar to show for it.

As my shoulder began to heal & the scab came off, the area all around it was sensitive to any touch.  Around that same time a friend, who has a medical background, told me that I needed to gently massage the area with some lotion or oil every day to keep it from becoming a raised, abnormal scar.  She said if I gave it special attention for a few weeks, the skin would smooth out & it would barely be noticeable.   I followed her directions & sure enough, the area healed very well.  Now it is hardly noticeable.

Recently I went out to run that same path.  I've run it many times since my fall but this time it was early in the morning & the sun had yet to light the way.  As I ran in the dark, fearful thoughts began to creep into my mind that I might trip again.  I immediately started praying that the Lord would help me decipher the uneven surfaces, even in darkness & that I would be able to finish my run without incident.  

I made it to the end of my run without falling even though it took a little more effort to see in the dark.  It occurred to me how much my run mirrored my life.  Too often when I fall in life, I get up but I live in fear that I will fall again.  Not only do I choose to dwell on the injury I sustained from the fall but I ignore letting Jesus carefully heal my wounds so that even if there are scars left behind, they won’t become ugly signs that I have hardened places in my heart.  Too often, I also forget that He has promised to give me all I need to keep me from falling again.  

But when I take my broken & wounded heart to Jesus, I find a Friend that can answer all my questions with His infinite wisdom.  I find a Sustainer that can hold my hand & lift me back up.   When I offer Him my wounds, I find a Healer that gently cares for them until there is a new flesh that forms over the wounded place.

Coincidentally, I also happen to have a large scar on my other arm from an accident many years ago.  It is ugly & raised because when it happened I was nowhere near a place I could clean & doctor it nor did I know that I should take care of it with any special treatment.  So even though it healed, it healed in an unsightly way that is very noticeable & tells its own story.  The same thing happens when we have emotional scars that we do not take care of.  They form an ugly hardened place on our heart.

Just like all physical scars tell a story, the emotional scars we have from life tell one too.  

Every injury in life will leave behind a place that needs healing.  Some scars heal smoothly & hardly noticeable but will tell a beautiful story of love & care, but others will leave a rough place that is unsightly & the world around us will cringe at the sight of them.  How our scars heal is a choice.  We can choose to let Jesus care for them & the story will be that He is enough to redeem or we can choose not to give the hurt to Jesus to heal & we tell the world that we believe He actually might not be enough.  Either way, there will be a story told. 

Nothing, not even our falls, are wasted when we choose to run with Jesus.  Our mistakes & sins can be converted to good in our lives through His transforming grace.

Jesus has scars too. His tell a story that you & I were so important to Him that He was willing to leave the glory of Heaven & come to this earth, with all of its pain & suffering, & be wounded so we could be healed.  Can you spend a minute dwelling on that?   

Not only did He take my place on the cross but He continues to relentlessly pursue me.  

Trusting Him to help us is a moment-by-moment decision.  It's easy to trust Him when life is good & the journey is easy, but it is much more difficult when things go wrong.  We must be intentional in choosing His ways. {Psalm 31:14}

So how do we heal after a fall?  

Get back up ~ When I fell out on my run, I got back up.  I knew I had to get up as quickly as possible & get moving to keep my muscles from getting stiff.  It's the same way with our heart wounds.  We can't sit & focus on how bad it hurts for too long. When I got back up, I was not yet healed, but I chose to get up & keep going during the healing.  If Jesus is Lord of your life, then He has declared you as His righteousness.  It is His goodness that makes you who you are, not your own & His word declares that the ‘righteous will rise’ & that He will hold your hand to keep you from falling again. Start by praising Him to turn your heart back to Him. {Proverbs 24:16, Psalm 37:23-24, 1 Peter 2:9}

Let Jesus be your healer ~ There is a time & place for dealing with pain, don't deny your God-given emotions when walking through a trial but give your emotions to God.  If it takes you a day or a year or a decade to fully move through your trial to your healing, do it with God.  Do not try to tend your wounds alone.  Let Jesus pour His healing over your wound so that the scar left behind tells a sweet story of His compassion, grace & redemption in your life.  {Psalm 40:2, 1 Peter 2:24-25}

Don’t forget to pray ~ Just like I did that morning on my run, praying to keep from falling is the beginning of standing upright.   Even when you are walking through dark situations & can’t see exactly where you are going, keep praying & our faithful God will keep you on your feet.  When we seek to run the path of this life in His ways, He will always be faithful to show us exactly what to do.   He is not only our Healer but our Strength & our Protector too. We can be confident in approaching Him because He always keeps His word.  {Hebrews 10:19-22, Psalm 91:9-10}

Where do you need Jesus to heal your wounds?  How do you need Him to hold you up, so you don't fall again?  Take some time to tell Him that you trust Him to be your Redeemer.