When I was 6, our Sunday school group visited a farm, and we were driving around the farm with a bunch of us sitting on the back of a pick-up truck, towing a trailer full of people as well. At some stage I decided to climb from the bed of the pick-up to the trailer, but slipped and fell, landed on my back and was run over by the trailer full of people. Years later I had confirmed to me what I’d always suspected – that the 7 year old kid sitting next to me pushed me while I was climbing. Why? Not sure, but he had a pretty troubled childhood, so perhaps he’d never learned to love properly. I think we’d all agree it was a pretty lame thing to do.
Yesterday I fell off our water tower. I was trying to attach some pipes to our solar hot water tank, and was on a ledge that was far too narrow, tipped, had nothing to hold onto but an empty tank that came with me, and fell down the 4 meters or whatever it is, and landed backbone first on a concrete flower box. I can mostly remember my thought processes, and it went like this:
“I’m tipping, better grab this tank. The tank is tipping. I’m going over. Try to lan- OH WOW THAT HURT. I thought I would bounce a bit. The tank’s going to hit me, where is it [it was dangling by pipes]?! Oh, my back. I think I’m in trouble. God, I know you didn’t do this to me.”
Kelly came outside and I was then on my hands and knees, having trouble breathing, and I said, “Pray for me.”
I managed to get inside somehow and lie down on our bed, surprised that nothing was broken. Actually, surprised that I could even walk inside. We spent some time praying together and talking. It was a lot easier to pray and ask God for healing and speedy recovery knowing that my falling off the tower wasn’t something that he had determined for me. If it had been his plan, it would be much harder to ask for healing because it would be contrary to his intentions.
Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (ESV). Peace with God! Jesus took all our punishment, so we are not under any condemnation (Romans 8:1). A couple months ago I wrote about how God prunes us – not by pushing us off water towers (as a troubled 7 year old might do), but by his Word. God has been teaching me and pruning me through his Word today, and it’s a great way to learn. It’s how I want to teach and train my kids too, and I’m pretty sure it’s how my dad taught me – “Son, you know I’d never push you off a trailer, but since it’s happened, let’s talk about the wisdom of climbing between two moving vehicles, ok?”
Last night the bleeding on my back quickly stopped, and rather than swell up and get all bruised, the swelling started going away and the redness diminished. Today I’m stiff and sore, but happy to be walking around.