When a Pair of Shoes Makes All the Difference
When a Pair of Shoes Makes All the Difference
“What’s the point of having surgery if my knee still feels this bad,” I grumbled to my husband.
More than a year after surgery, months of physical therapy, and a couple of cortisone shots, my knee still hurt. Like, hurt hurt. It kept me up at night and kept me from wearing anything but flats. (I know, horror of horrors.) It hindered my ability to stand for more than a few minutes without pain. But the prospect of losing my ability to exercise altogether loomed over me like a dark cloud. Before I resigned myself to give up something that brings me joy and relieves stress, I explored every possible option. A visit back to my surgeon and a trip to an alternative doctor offered little comfort.
Hence the grumbling to my husband. I was sitting on the couch nursing my knee and a lousy attitude when something on Facebook caught my eye. A friend who is an avid runner complained about her aching knees.“Yeah, I feel ya, sister,” I instantly mused. Then her next sentence changed it all: “I just got a new pair of running shoes and I’m not in any more pain!”
“A new pair of shoes? Are you kidding me? I’ve endured months of therapy, slathered on a gallon of Biofreeze, taken nausea-inducing anti-inflammatory pills, and maybe I just need a new pair of shoes?”
You’d think the painful arches, burning shins and stinging knees would’ve clued me in. But I was looking in all the wrong places for a solution to my problem.
I headed to Virginia Runner where they carefully watched my gait and painstakingly tried a number of shoes designed for my specific needs. I pulled on the teal and purple “Saucony” cross training shoe and the heavens opened. Okay, maybe not literally, but it was a world of difference. Within just a few days, my knee didn’t hurt. Like, at all. Last week, I actually wore heels. Come on y’all. To take heels from an ex-pageant girl is like taking candy from a baby.
Who knew a pair of shoes could make such a difference?
As I tightened my laces to head to the gym this morning, I felt the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.
“Angela, what shoes have you been wearing?”
Now I know God cares about the number of hairs on my head but I didn’t really think he meant my teal tennis shoes or my olive green wedge heels. Nope. I knew what he meant.
Ephesians 6 shares our spiritual wardrobe.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm the, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
“Angela, I’m glad your new tennis shoes are alleviating your knee pain. I’m glad you discovered a solution to the problem. But what shoes are you wearing?”
Truth be told, I’ve been lacking a couple pieces of my spiritual wardrobe lately. My feet have not been fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. I’ve struggled to surrender to the sovereignty of God with the recent tragic death of our 11 year old family dog. I’ve railed at the television with the recent tumultuous dynamic of our political situation. I’ve skipped out on quiet time with the screams of the urgent taking priority. What shoes have I been wearing? Shoes of doubt. Shoes of anger. Shoes of excuses. Peace requires us to pause. Peace demands us to release frustration. Peace is the solution to the problems we’ve been looking everywhere for.
Peace comes when I press into Jesus and get close enough to His heart to settle my own.
In Isaiah 52:7, the messenger’s feet are described in the custom of running barefoot. But here, the message of the gospel is connected with the protective and supportive footgear of the Roman soldier. God has shoes for each of us that fit us perfectly. The gospel of peace offers protection and support when we pause and press into Jesus.
Maybe you’re nursing a painful situation right now. Perhaps it’s your broken health or a bruised relationship. A new pair of running shoes might do the trick for an aching knee, but only the peace of God provides the solution for an aching heart.
If we want to “Make Our Lives Matter No Matter What,” we need to let our Heavenly Father fit us with His shoes of the gospel of peace. I pray God’s peace washes over you today as you press in close enough to His heart to settle your own.
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What