One Tough Therapist


As I walked into the facility I had no idea what to expect.  My neurologist had completed another round of tests and still was unable to pinpoint the cause of my symptoms.  He could see the limping, my lack of balance, and the slow gait but could not find a reason.  He prescribed therapy.  “If nothing else, he explained, it will strengthen you.  Therapy is good for most any illness.”

After discussing with the physical therapist my limitations and symptoms, she determined I should lie down for the exercises.  Explaining each movement with precision, being sure to watch carefully so I would not misunderstand, she directed me through them.

To the bystander it would appear I wasn’t doing much of anything.  Other patients were bicycling, running, balancing while I lay down, slowly lifting my arms up over my head to touch the wall behind.  I felt silly…until the fourth count…I couldn’t get my arms to come down without straining.

Each new exercise revealed more of my inability.

Leaving at a snail’s pace I walked back to the car and struggled to make it home.   Crashing into bed, I slept for a couple of hours.

So this is therapy.  And I had to go back three times a week!?!? 

Have you ever been through therapy — not just physically, but mentally or emotionally?  I’ve found some of the most difficult therapy to be in the spiritual realm.  God is a tough therapist.  He will not leave us disabled.  He is about completing the work He began.  He will use the necessary training — the discipline needed — to get the job done.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees!  Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.   ~Taken from Hebrews 12


25 responses »

  1. I have been through physical therapy several times.

    Spiritually, I’m paralyzed right about now.

  2. Michelle,
    Love you – got you first.
    Both kinds of therapy have borne fruit in my life.
    I broke a vertebrae in my back, had two operations and therapy and came out stronger and in better shape than ever.
    I broke a relationship, repented and had “therapy” with God and his Word – He carefully directed me when I was careful to pay attention – and I feel stronger spiritually.
    I’m claiming spiritual progress but not spiritual perfection.

  3. Hey, Bear. I know the feeling of being spiritually paralyzed. I’ve been there lots and cry out to Him, “What’s going on? Please speak to me.”

    He does. Not in the wind, not in the earthquake and fire, but in a sound of gentle blowing. Deep within He whispers, “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you.” Many times it involves repentance, washing the feet clean from walking down a path He did not ask me to go.

    Sometimes He speaks boldly through His word and I know what I am to do, but I don’t want to do it. That paralyzes me for a time, until again, I repent and choose to submit to His will.

    I have no idea what’s paralyzing you…just explaining how it works with me.

    Sometimes He stops me dead in my tracks to keep me from danger ahead. It confuses me and I’m not sure what’s happening, but being still in Him, seeking after Him, crying out to Him…eventually He does bring restoration.

    I’m praying for you, Bear. Faithful is He who calls you and He also will bring it to pass.

  4. Hey, Sam! The therapy was hard, wasn’t it? It’s never easy for me to see where I’ve been wrong. I guess that’s called arrogance. 😯 Each new exercise the Lord teaches me can be unbearably painful for a time, humiliating and humbling. BUT He is faithful and every morning I find new mercies.

    “I’m claiming spiritual progress but not spiritual perfection.”

    Me too. I love you, Sam!

    Have a good day. 😉

  5. Sis~This was an on-time post for me. I feel very paralyzed spiritually. It’s like I know He’s there, I know He’s calling out, but I can’t reach Him due to my physical/emotional/mental/spiritual limitations. I am trying to reach out but I feel so tired; like one more step is going to take everything out of me. Thanks for posting this; I am learning to guard my peace but it’s been a little harder than usual in this current season of my life. Amazing how the enemy’s attacks feel so much more successful when we’re already feeling down. Love you Sis.

    Bear~I am praying for you. You have been on my heart lately. I believe we’re much in the same boat concerning our frame of mind/spirit. I emailed you a few days ago and want you to know that I love you and am petitioning our Father on behalf of you.

  6. Hey, Gch.

    “I am trying to reach out but I feel so tired; like one more step is going to take everything out of me. ”

    Yes. I believe that’s why He says, “Be still and know.”

    I don’t have the luxury of being able to take steps without exhaustion. Being “put down,” placed in a position of immobility, has been terrible and yet…wonderful.

    I can’t run away…I can’t even walk away…I have to be still. Crying out to Him in turmoil, in total weakness, in brokenness is what He desires. Don’t make a move until you know He has spoken.

    Be still and know that He is God.

    Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…

    I love you, sweetie.

  7. “Leaving at a snail’s pace I walked back to the car and struggled to make it home. Crashing into bed, I slept for a couple of hours.”

    I’m sorry, but this made me giggle. This is how I feel lately after endless days, of endless spreadsheets and State acoounts….LOL

    “I’ve found some of the most difficult therapy to be in the spiritual realm. God is a tough therapist. He will not leave us disabled. He is about completing the work He began. He will use the necessary training — the discipline needed — to get the job done.”

    You KNOW how much I needed to hear this. I’m officially claiming this post as my own…LOL

    Love you sis and thank you for everything!

  8. Michelle, thank you for reminding me of the greatest therapist Jesus- He heals our every infirmity, He works for our own good even when we cannot see or feel it or when it feels more like we are being broken than healed.

    I’m praying for you and for the physical therapy (I think mostly it feels like it is getting worse before it gets better- that is how it was with my recent back/lung story) and that the master therapist will complete the great work He is doing in your life and give you relief.

  9. You can claim it, Debs. I’ll be happy to call it yours. I love you too and am happy to be there for you — it truly is a win/win situation.

    Hey, Ripple. It does feel worse before it gets better, spiritually speaking. I suppose that is true for physical therapy as well. I did go through the amount prescribed and then insurance wouldn’t cover anymore. I hadn’t made any noticeable progress. 🙄

  10. A long time ago, i had a disc bulging in the lower back but bulging on the inside..pressing on the sciatic nerve, eventually caused my neck to be out of alignment…and 8 months of PT was the prescription, traction on my hips and on my head to straighten my discs, heat, stim..etc… exercises..but after quite some time the pain paid off, and I am pain free 99% of the time…in that area. It was incredibly hard to press ahead…but I came through it without surgery. SO I do understand the pain end of it. I also used to work for a Physical therapist.

    I am praying so much for you!! I love you…and since I have been out and reading some of your comments I am also giving you a high five..from me this time! 😉

  11. Thanks, Darla. The pain of spiritual therapy can be just as intense. I love the passage in Hebrews 12 about all of the training and discipline being for us to share in His holiness. Sometimes what He allows us to go through, based upon the choices we’ve made, and then His discipline enacted…man…it can be excruciating to endure His scourging.

    I love this passage in particular:
    All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. ~Hebrews 12:11

    I know I’m repeating myself, but … well, I just don’t think we hear this enough in Christian circles anymore.

    Love you, Darla!! 😉

  12. Hello sister..

    I have had 4 knee surgeries. Been through my share of Physical therapy. The 4th time through I was tell the therapist the exercises I need to do. I would go in grab my chart, go work out, hand it back to the therapist 45 minutes later. He would measure my flexibility and strength sign my chart. I was out the door.

    Working hard it the important part, no matter how simple the exercise looks or feels. I have an exercise for my back that takes about 5 minutes a day. If you didn’t know better you would think I was looking for a dropped pencil, but if I don’t do it for awhile I can tell.

    So Michelle work hard no matter how awkward you feel or mundane you think the exercise is. If the therapist is good the exercise will help.

    Praying for you Michelle.
    Love ya.

  13. Thank you for the words of encouragement, Carl. My therapy has ended. No progress…no insurance. I do some exercises at home to keep my inner core strong. I would like to say I’m getting stronger physically . . . not so much.

    But I am getting stronger in the Lord. I will praise Him for that.

    Hope your week is well, Carl. 😉

  14. ive never had physical therapy. but i have had, am having, spiritual therapy right now. its good. but it isnt always fun. but i DO KNOW, the results will be Heavenly. i am blessed to have a few close friends who are willing to walk along side us in this time too. The Great Physician has sent aides to help us along the journey. I love the Body!

  15. Hey, Tam. My physical therapy didn’t last long — no improvement. But now, that spiritual kind, yeah…it doesn’t seem to stop. Bearing one another’s burdens is a huge part of life in the body. It’s good you have such close friends in your life.

    Love you, TammyJo!

  16. therapy = change = pain for me. I don’t want to change me. He does… but I’m content.

    I remember after my pinky finger healed from the wood splitter accident. It was very sore to touch or move. I kept it curved like I was holding a ball and would not move it with the rest of my fingers.

    The doctor wanted to see if it was because my tendons were detached so he clenched my hand in his, grabbing my pinky up to the first joint and then started pushing down on the end of my insufferably sore pinky with his index finger.

    I did not want to move to I push back with my pinky. The harder he pushed the harder I had to push back. As my pinky muscles clenched and flexed I started to sweat and tear up with pain. Anyone watching would think absolutely nothing was happening. Inside me their was a 3-alarm fire and I was screaming.

    The doctor smiled and said, “Very good! Your finger is healed. You need to put yourself through this therapy, pushing your pinky against your own index finger, everyday until you can straighten it and flex it. If you do this, you will regain full use of you finger.”

    I left there unable to speak because of the pain. I didn’t think it was Very good! Not at all. I liked my pinky just the way it was. Of course I couldn’t shake hands with anyone. I couldn’t touch type and “hitting the enter key” was out of the question…

    I hear you when you say you barely made it back home. As I recall, my experience with family therapy for substance abuse and then marriage counseling were much more painful.

  17. I knew you were going to take this ‘therapy’ idea to the Word. 🙂 Yes. Therapies from atrophied spiritual muscles … NOT fun. Painful. Stretching. Flesh screaming. But … very good, in the long run.

  18. So you think you know me, huh?!?!

    Yeah, Annie, it hurts so much. Some days I weep with the pain, but He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it.

    It’s good to see you here, such a cheerful face. 🙂

  19. Oh, I think a bit of you splashes sunlight my way, yes. 🙂

    Why thank you! I’m finally getting to my baked-up list of blogs from the last week. It only took me 2 hours. 😯 I’m tired.

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