Every overwhelming situation in our life must be addressed “one bite” at the time. Often patience, diligence, courage and an indomitable spirit are the seasonings for our elephant meal. There is no easy, quick way to dispose of a 5,000 pound elephant/problem.
I recently experienced this in my own life. After surgery I found myself unable to walk and dependent on a walker. After several weeks of physical therapy I was “sprung” from the inside of my house and given the go ahead to begin walking in my neighborhood. I had two wheels and two tennis balls adorning my walker and I was off to the races! I was delighted to be free but embarrassed to be hobbling down the road. I found myself hoping the neighbors thought I had been in a car accident instead of in recovery from a surgery that happens to “old people”! When there’s an elephant in your life there is usually embarrassment and humiliation too.
I had made progress on my one mile goal and I invited the grandchildren to walk with me one afternoon following a family gathering. Larry and one of my sons came along to keep seven children from having too much fun with “Meena”. My son whipped out his new Droid and measured the rate of speed we were traveling. With great laughter he announced that I was going one mile per hour! How humiliating was that! It would take me a whole hour to walk one mile when I used to run a mile in seven minutes.
I wanted to make this elephant my companion for life by giving up, retreating to the inside of my house, gorging on chocolate and whining to my friends about how unfair life was! But instead, I sought strength and courage from God’s Word that says, “Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37.
Everyday for four weeks I made the journey down the road whether I felt like it or not. I increased the distance traveled every two days, struggling from street light to street light. I talked to my body and encouraged it to be strong. I prayed for others as I walked. Sometimes I just enjoyed the company of family members. Finally, I hit the one mile mark with callouses on my hands from gripping the walker, a gait that suggested I had never had surgery and an a confidence that good things would happen when I visited my doctor in a few days.
The x-rays revealed the fracture was healed and after watching me walk the doctor totally released me with no limitations and no return visits! I was so thankful for the grace God had given me to eat my elephant “one bite at a time”.
Lord, when I feel overwhelmed and I am in the shadow of the elephant, please transfer me into the shadow of your love and protection. Infuse me with strength, faith and determination that’s beyond my ability. Help me to be victorious for you have purchased my victory through your shed blood on Calvary’s cross! Amen