It looked like a medieval torture rack. Okay, maybe my description was a bit dramatic. But the table and machine - complete with Velcro straps and cables - didn't strike me as inviting.
My husband Steve proved to be a good candidate for the ominous equipment. The decompression provided by the machine would separate the discs in his lower back that were causing him problems.
Although unsure of what caused the initial injury, Steve's back pain motivated him to look into treatment. Any alternative to surgery was being considered. Chiropractic seemed to be a logical choice.
Because of a busy work schedule, it was difficult to get Steve to commit to regular chiropractor appointments. But pain can be a pretty strong motivator. He realized he had to do something, and he was willing to give the decompression machine a chance.
Each session was monitored by the chiropractor. He would program the machine to apply a specific amount of pressure to Steve's lower back. With every appointment the pressure was gradually increased. Although Steve still experienced pain, it was a different kind of pain. Soreness had replaced the ache of bone rubbing against bone. The decompression was working.
The whole process reminded me of how God works.
Of course He doesn't use tables or machines, but He still stretches me.
*I have to recognize my need for growth. It's easy to fool myself into thinking I've arrived. But I'm only kidding myself. God's plan is to conform me to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). I've got a long way to go.
*I have to show up for my appointments with the Lord. Every day I have the opportunity to read His Word and talk to Him in prayer. If I'm not willing to be still and listen to what He has to say, I won't apply His principles to my life.
*I have to trust that He knows what He's doing. He will do what's best for me. The process may be difficult and sometimes painful, but it WILL lead to growth. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," (Philippians 1:6; KJV).
I have a choice to make: will I allow the Lord to stretch me? I want to grow, so I know I need to spend time with the One who can help me. Today I choose to trust Him no matter what method He uses to stretch me.
Are you willing to be stretched? What step will you take to ensure your growth?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the valuable lessons You taught me. Forgive me when I'm prideful and don't see a need for growth. Help me set aside time to develop my relationship with You. Help me trust You when You apply pressure that will help me stretch. In Jesus' name, Amen.