The pain meds are less effective—minus vicodin. Now it really hurts to walk. I’m going to use a cane. It’s great how much that really does help. No pressure or less pressure is good.

Larry just came home from taking his mom to elder day care and said, “Don’t use the cane. It will make your leg atrophy more from non use and it will put you out of alignment.”

That makes sense. So he has put it away.

His comment made me realized how symbolic using a cane is with how we use strategies to avoid pain. A strategy puts us out of alignment when walking with the Lord–we limp in our ability to stand firm (Ephesians 6). Our shield of faith is off center and doesn’t protect our chest because we’re leaning over or to the side.

And our spiritual muscles atrophy because they aren’t being used. We’re depending upon other responses instead of trusting God.

What do strategies look like? Anything and anytime we’re trusting in our own protections and devices rather than God’s. It looks like anything opposite of the fruit of the Spirit. A sinful, self-protective strategy includes reactions like anger, discontentment, impatience, apathy, closing off our heart in a relationship, worry, fear, manipulation, etc.

I’m not using the cane. I thought it would benefit me but it doesn’t. The pain may be diminished but I’m just gaining more problems.

I have yet to relinquish all the strategies I have grabbed onto to protect myself from pain. But I know that’s what God is calling me to every day. I’m going to take my shield of faith, stand firm and straight and protect my heart from distrust of God.