Recovering from knee replacement surgery is not for the faint of heart. It requires determination, effort, and following the rehab plan. This is my third knee surgery in less than a year so I feel like I am well acquainted with many of the exercises. The discomfort is something that no one enjoys but it goes along with the process. In many respects, the Christian life is very similar.
God begins a work within us when He calls us to be His own. He removes our stony heart as stated in Ezekiel 36:26: "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." We were once dead to God and alive to sin until the Great Physician gave us a new life in Christ. Talk about major surgery! God made us a new creation unto repentance, and just like physical surgery, it takes time to grow in this new way of life.
With knee surgery, they get you up the same day as your surgery and have you begin moving. Of course, it is supervised and I took baby steps. No instant marathon runner here...it will take time. In much the same way as a new Christian, we need someone to come along side us and help us to grow. This is where church fellowship, teaching and discipleship are critically important. Being a babe in Christ is both exciting and a little scary too. My husband and I were blessed when we became new Christians to have this kind of support to help us grow in the Lord.
Of course, we all progress at different rates whether it is recovery from surgery or in our growth in Christ. After knee surgery, I had two weeks of home therapy, and went from using a walker, to a cane and now walking independently. Going to rehab appointments three times a week helps to strengthen the weak muscles and even though it tests my limits of discomfort, I know I need to rebuild flexibility so I can enjoy walking again. It will take time, and as my doctor reminds me, I could have some stiffness for
up to a year. However, what I will not have is the bone on bone pain I had endured before.
Following heart surgery under the mighty Hand of God will also require some stretching and changing. Old habits must die, the sin nature no longer holds us captive, and our desires will be transformed as well. Some of this process can be uncomfortable or even painful. Co-workers, family and friends may not understand the difference in us. This may cause a number of them to walk away from us. Jesus said in Matthew 19:29: "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life." Yes, we may lose some cherished relationships but in return, we will gain a family in Christ to walk with us.
Our Lord clearly said that we will face tribulation in this world, but we can be of good cheer because as He has overcome the world, we also will overcome through His power. We must be willing to invest our time and effort to grow just like I am currently doing in my rehab with my knee. I want to get full function back, and it requires my participation in less than comfortable exercises. So I keep my eye on the goal and that is what we must do if we desire to grow in Christ. Let us keep pressing forward towards the goal as the Apostle Paul told us...keeping our eye on the prize that we may win the crown and hear our master say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant..." (Matthew 25:23). Press on dear friends....we are almost home! Selah!