Set-backs or Set-forwards?

About 5 days ago I was out on my usual Saturday long run. About 4.5 miles in I had to stop because my knee was so painful! For those of you who don’t know I have been training with triathlon recently and upping the training quite a bit. I have been getting quite excited about the progress I have made so as you can imagine, getting this knee pain and feeling a potential injury coming on was not a welcome thought!

In the past I would have been tempted to run on anyway, refusing to admit that I was weak and that it would be fine. These days, after many injuries, I tend to have a more realistic view of my own capabilities. Saying this, that didn’t stop me from complaining to God… God why would you let me get injured? C’mon it was going so well, why this? Do you not want me to do well?

Then I went to read my bible notes (shout out to UCB Word for Today) and found that the message was about 1 Kings when a prophet (someone who God speaks through) called Elijah was held back his usual provisions from God. The river that had been providing him water in the desert had dried up, and the ravens who had been bringing him food stopped coming. Well that sucks, you might say. Why would God do that?

Then I realised, it was to get Elijah to move on- to get his attention and to get him to move. The story carries on to tell how God then sent him to go and see a widow ‘Zarepath’ who would provide food for him, in spite of having very little food for herself, and being in the midst of a famine! Despite these apparent setbacks, Elijah pressed on and had faith that God would show his faithfulness in the place where he had lead him.

How is this relevant to a knee injury?

Well, like Elijah I realised that this apparent set back might be God’s way of moving me into a different direction. And knowing that God is always faithful, I clung to this promise and decided to trust him with it and I prayed and asked him to give me direction.

The next morning I was walking into Loughborough town and, on the way, noticed a bright yellow sign reading ‘Osteopathic Surgery Open Day – free consultations’. I will admit I hesitated a little, but, feeling the nudge to go in, I made my way in to reception. And do you know – the physio gave me such good advice about my muscles and my training that I can now run again without pain… AND (since a follow up half priced appointment!) my muscles are being worked on such that they are getting to better condition than they even were before my knee incident.

It made me think… If I had not believed in God’s faithfulness, I probably wouldn’t be experiencing the blessing that I am now. Much like if Elijah had not took God at his word, he wouldn’t have eaten that day!

I know that a knee injury is not much in the way of a set-back really, and that many of you may be experiencing much bigger set-backs than I could even imagine. But I think that perhaps sometimes these set-backs are challenges to our faith that then propel us to ‘set-forwards’.

In searching for God’s answer and perspective on our problems, it allows us to make steps forward with a new sense of gratitude and humility, knowing that it is by God’s grace and faithfulness alone that we do all these things!

“Blessings hinge upon obedience” Bob Gass

1 Kings 17:1-15

Lamentations 3:22-24 “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”




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