Relying on God’s Strength

I tore my anterior cruciate ligament on March 2, 2023. This ligament, commonly known as the ACL, helps keep the knee stable, secure, and strong. How did the tear happen? I was privileged to play on the FLBC men’s basketball team for my first two years of seminary while I still had collegiate eligibility. After 15 years of organized basketball, I was playing in the last game of my basketball career. With about 12 minutes to go in the second half, my ACL lost the battle. It didn’t feel right, but I was not about to quit the team in the last game of the season. So, I tried to muscle my way through the pain, knowing that my knee felt unstable. Unfortunately, both the team and my ACL lost. Fast forward a week, and the x-ray confirmed the ACL tear. Thankfully, nothing else was damaged.  

I had surgery on April 13. The procedure went well, but it felt like my leg was starting from ground zero; I was unable to lift my leg or even flex my quad. This was not an easy reality. Immobilized, I began working hard every day doing physical therapy and strength exercises for a hopeful full recovery in 9–10 months.  

It was a strange moment in my life. I was getting married at the end of July to Kalei. She was a gem through it all—extremely hard-working and willing to carry much of the load, preparing much of the wedding at her home lake-place, dubbed “the venue.” Meanwhile, I struggled to find a job that would accommodate my injury. I also could not be of much physical assistance with wedding preparations. It was a strange combination of feeling simultaneously busy and helpless to do anything. 

What is the moral of this story? If you trust him, God will give you the strength to get through anything. Do hardships and problems happen for a reason? Maybe. Yet, to be completely honest, I am not always sure of the “why.” And that is okay. There are a few things I do know. That feeling of helplessness caused me to pray more than I had in a long time. My physical inability caused me to trust and depend on others and to be more open to being served. Most importantly, the more I recognized my weakness, the more reliant I became on Christ. 

I am reminded of the Exodus. After the ten plagues, Pharaoh finally let the Israelites go. Exodus 14 describes how Pharaoh changed his mind and, with horses and chariots, came after the Israelites. The Egyptians “overtook them” (v. 9). Sandwiched between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, Moses’ response to this crisis is fascinating. He emboldens the Israelites, saying, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD …” (v. 14). He concludes, “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Moses and the Israelites were truly helpless, much more than myself. Yet, God demonstrates that he is the Savior God who fights for his own. He fought for his people, delivering them from certain destruction.  

He fought for me, too, teaching me to literally “be still.” Ultimately, He fought and won the battle by destroying sin, death, and the devil through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Now, if God cares so well for the birds (Matthew 6:26), how much more will he care for his people? I know this: He has cared well for me in all my weaknesses, and he is a God whose strength is worth relying upon. 

Micah Moan [FLS middler] is a member of Solid Rock Free Lutheran, Anoka, Minn. 

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