October 23, 2013


I heard a great sermon in church a few weeks ago. A sermon just for me, about having a strong back. You’ve heard about my new life as a sufferer of back issues in this magazine before. At the time, I thought the episode was a “one and done” type of thing. I was wrong. Over the past seven months I have had two more flare-ups, resulting in an MRI that revealed I am now the proud owner of a herniated disc. I am much better, but I hesitate to say back to normal because I have learned and accepted that disc issues are akin to dormant volcanoes. You may feel that all is well for the most part until something (and I wish I knew for sure) happens and the flare-up is in full force, rendering a normally active person temporarily sidelined. Needless to say, I’m not terribly happy about this, but I do remind myself that things could be much worse.

So it was in this frame of mind and body that I heard that great sermon. No, it never mentioned backs. It was about crosses we bear that are not of our choosing. The idea really hit home. In this life we are handed things that we would rather hand back—illness, divorce, financial problems, death, etc. But we must remember that God does not give us more than He knows we can handle and equips us to do exactly that—handle it. So (and forgive me for totally talking to myself here) instead of saying, “God, remove this burden from me completely,” which is not always a bad prayer to pray, perhaps we may ask something different of the One who knows better than we do.

Maybe our prayer should then be “Lord, if You see fit not to remove my burdens completely, please just grant me a strong back to carry them.” Literally.