Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4
This past Spring I went for a walk in the park with a friend. She wanted to get out into the sunshine and I wanted to take pictures of the tulips that were in full bloom. We had a lovely time together, chatting about silly TV shows and snapping pictures. Later that night, the pain started. It was radiating from my low back down my leg. Every time I moved it felt like electricity shooting down to my foot. Now, I’ve injured my back a couple of times before so I knew the drill, rest, ice, heat, stretching and strengthening. I did it all and slowly the pain subsided. Just a few days ago I was amazed to discover that I could walk and sit without pain and the strengthening exercises were getting much easier.
Then I woke up with my allergies going haywire. I should have gone to the doctor right then, but I didn’t. I thought I was tough and I could get through it on my own. Oh, how wrong I was! I had a terrible sneezing fit and I felt my back go out immediately. I knew I was in big trouble when I couldn’t get out of bed the next morning and I was dragging my foot as I walked again.
I don’t write this so you’ll feel sorry for me. By the grace of God, I’m going to be okay. I write this with the hope that you will be encouraged. We all have setbacks in life. They usually come at the must inconvenient times. But it’s just a setback, not a permanent destination. No matter what obstacle we face God is greater than it. For me the obstacle is an old back injury rearing its ugly head. For you, maybe it’s different, a divorce or bad breakup, the loss of a loved one, problems at work or a feeling of despair that you can’t put into words. Whatever you’re facing I want you to know that God has you covered! He loves you, He will see you through it and He is definitely greater than any setback we face!
Isaiah 43:2 says:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overtake you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
I love this verse and I come back to it often. The meaning is simple but the words are so powerful. We are going to have trials in our lives. But God doesn’t take us into a trial just to drop us off and leave us there. He promises that He will be right there with us. He knows that we will emerge from the flames stronger and better equipped for whatever the next obstacle may be.
Are you facing a setback right now? If so, then I pray that you will be encouraged by knowing that God is with you. He will use this time in your life to lift you up and show you His love and compassion. You may not be able to see it now, but you will emerge on the other side of this trial stronger and with more resolve to live for Him.
Setbacks will always come and go, but our loving Father will be with us through it all because He is greater! Until next time, God bless!
P.S. A little update on my back injury just in case you were wondering…
It’s been almost a year since I reinjured my back and I’m finally feeling better. God has used this time to teach me a few lessons, patience which is an ongoing journey for me and also humility. (Oh, humility! I’ll write a post about that one soon.) As I reread this post I was struck by one thing. “But it’s just a setback, not a permanent destination.” When I wrote these words it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it felt like my setback would be permanent. It’s been a long, painful road both physically and spiritually. But God has shown me just how great He is! He didn’t take me into the trial and drop me off, He stayed there in the fire with me the whole way. And I’m exceedingly grateful for His presence in my life! He got me this trial, now on to the next! ;)
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Connie Rowland is the creator of Master's Hand Collection, A series of Christian digital artwork that depicts God's hand in our lives. Each picture features an inspirational word spelled out in American Sign Language with a corresponding Bible verse. Join "In the Studio" for your Free Printable Artwork.
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