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Had the first half of this summer not transpired like it did, I’m certain that the last half of this summer would have been emotionally unbearable for me. By putting God‘s will for my life first in June and July, I can survive the “chains” that August and September have brought with an assurance that there is a lesson in the imprisonment that only six weeks on crutches will reveal.
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My knee surgery started out as this simple little procedure with two to three days of rest and maybe a week of crutches and physical therapy to follow for another two weeks. Then Dr. Newman actually got in there and found damage that he had not anticipated. He did what he could for me and has ordered me not to drive or put any weight on my right leg whatsoever for six weeks. He cannot tell me where we’ll be going from here because he doesn’t know where I’ll be physically at the end of six weeks. Needless to say, these crutches are now my BFFs.
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For a control freak like me, that news might have sent me over the edge this past Monday afternoon. Instead, I looked back at all the work I’d gotten accomplished when I was prioritizing for the Master and said, “Thank You, God, for seeing past what I couldn’t.” Thank God that I have a leg-up (so-to-speak) on my work with Bible study and with the Crusader Choir. God has made a way for me and I don’t have to fight through things under the “shackles” of these crutches.
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About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing songs to God as the other prisoners listened. Suddenly, there was a strong earthquake that shook the foundation of the jail. Then all the doors of the jail broke open, and all the prisoners were freed from their chains. The jailer woke up and saw that the jail doors were open. Thinking that the prisoners had already escaped, he got his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul shouted, “Don’t hurt yourself! We are all here.” The jailer told someone to bring a light. Then he ran inside and, shaking with fear, fell down before Paul and Silas. He brought them outside and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” They said to him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved—you and all the people in your house.” So Paul and Silas told the message of the Lord to the jailer and all the people in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took Paul and Silas and washed their wounds. Then he and all his people were baptized immediately. After this the jailer took Paul and Silas home and gave them food. He and his family were very happy because they now believed in God. Acts 16:25-34 (NCV)
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My favorite Vacation Bible School story this year was the story of Paul and Silas in prison. God broke their shackles, freed them from prison, and still made a way for their jailer and his entire family to be saved. My favorite song from VBS was “Shackles” also known as “Praise You.” Below I’ve added a link to the song and hope that it helps you embrace whatever you’re struggling with. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ and He will break those shackles off your feet and give you freedom and peace!
Please add me to your prayer list. Let me know if there’s anything I can be praying about for you, since I’ll have lots of extra time on my hands. I’m eager to see what I’ll learn during my six weeks in these shackles!
“Shackles/Praise You” (Mary, Mary)