Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hard Times Bring Broad Places

“...and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.” - Psalm 31:8, NRSV

A couple of years ago, I had back surgery. Aside from all of the uncomfortable things that back surgery brings, I had to deal with the most crushing. Comfortable shoes and cute shoes rarely go together. Oh, the misery at making this discovery.

Don’t get me wrong. I was so grateful to walk that I didn’t care about the details. I would have worn trash bags if I thought it would help.

I remember how pleased I was to hold on to the treadmill bars and walk at 1.0 (that’s right, a sixty.minute.mile), with a handler watching. I wore functional shoes without laces (I couldn’t reach my feet to tie shoes). I wasn’t impressing; I just wanted to know that my foot was on the ground and it was staying there.

Getting through all of this has made me understand the value of a broad, clear place. At no time in the last two years have I worked my stilettos on a runway. I have not worried about how my calves look. I simply put one foot in front of the other. I find security in broad places and flat ground, with frumpy shoes.

I would say that became the landscape of my spiritual life, as well. I am more comfortable here, in a broad place. It has a wonderful, easy feel.

There are events that we experience which set a new pace for our life. We can either fight them or roll with them. We can fall into step with Him, or try to create our own rhythm. I have tried about every rhythm that exists, I don’t recommend it.

In a broad place, I see the hands of God reaching out. I see events happen without explanation. I see love and lives touched. I might have been too busy before the surgery. I feel that I can see Him better and hear Him clearer now.

I had to go through that horrible time, to get to the broad place.

I rejoice in this place. When the enemy pursues me, I can find comfort. I usually don’t have to untangle myself from the mess of the world to find my running shoes on solid ground. In this broad place I know who I am. I can see the One who set me there.

I like it here. I think I will stay.

Do you have events that re-paced your life? Did they put you in the broad places?


  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I can't imagine how painful and frustrating that kind of surgery and reabilitation was. I'd go crazy...but you're so right. Tough times make us stronger and there are such great lessons to be learned when we're down on our luck, our knees and humbled. It's then that we are the most teachable.

  2. Broad roads always leave room for friends by our side. Thank you Jesus for the friends who walk those paths ahead and beside us! And, thank you Jesus for being that friend all the time even when we think we are alone.
    What a great visual for me today, sweet Tracy!

  3. I love your heart. It's so beautiful and I am always inspired and encouraged by you. Thank you for being YOU!

  4. Thank you, Tracy for this wonderful reminder! You encourage me so!

  5. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    I have been so grateful for our adoption journey because I see God in every single moment of it. I now have an even greater appreciation for Him... His miracles and His love.

  6. Oh girl. I can't even begin to tell you how many events I have had that have repaced me. I also like the drama-free, the broad space. I much prefer it over the uncertainty and fear.

    My first "life story" installment will post on Thursday. It's a wild ride. You will see what I mean by the amount of "repacing events" I have endured! :)

  7. Oh, this is such a good, good word. Very timely for me. What a testimony....and I love that scripture too.

  8. It is so beautiful that you can see God's hand even in such a traumatic experience as back surgery! How He must delight in you and your willingness to be still before Him! I'm actually looking forward to slowing down some (if that's possible with four kids!) and just enjoying the season God has me in and training myself to be more quiet before Him.


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