With New Life being in a summer series, titled “This is My Story” I felt inspired to tell my New Life story, as a reminder of God’s promises and a look back at some of my favorite memories over the past eight years. This is part six in the series.
In the fall of 2007, after leading yet another missions trip, this time to Madagascar, I came home only to find that I had somehow herniated a disc in my lower back. I was on extensive pain medication and could basically only lie down (which was great because that was the fall in which the Rockies made it all the way to the World Series). I couldn’t get in for surgery for about two months because of lost files, my surgeon breaking his leg in a boating accident, and my exuberant patience with the health care system.
***Side note: It was also during this time that I met Pastor Brady Boyd at Fox Run Park for the very first time along with the rest of the staff. I was sweating bullets (literally because of the heat and the pain meds I was on). I walked up, doped out, and said something stupid to him like, “Hi my name is Justin Steinhart, I’m the interim-director of the WPC, I apologize, but I’m really high right now because of all of the pain medication I’m on. I also normally don’t walk around with a cane, but I have a herniated disc, which is also why I’m so high right now. Nice to meet you!” A few years later I asked him if he remembered our first meeting that day and he didn’t for which I was so grateful that he didn’t remember, because I was an absolute idiot!
So I finally received lower back surgery to remove the herniated disc, and there I was trying to once again find a new normal in my life. It was one of the most trying times in my life. One of the things that was extremely hard for me was people with good and Godly intentions wanting to pray for me. Which I allowed them to do as any Christian would do. I could see the look of disappointment in people’s eyes when after they had prayed for me the pain was still there. I never told anyone but the problem with it was that I had been sensing God say to me that I was not going to receive a miraculous healing and that I would have to endure the pain and live with this for the rest of my life.
Ever since then, and I would equate it to when Jacob wrestled with God. For the rest of Jacob’s life he would walk with a limp. I have the scare and the limp to prove it. It was a trying time of faith for me. I believe one of the reasons God chose to do it then was because I was taking over as the Conference Director for Desperation, and He wanted to make sure I would never get to big for my britches.
Ever since then God will often times stimulate that area just enough to cause me some pain and discomfort. He does it every time when I have relied too much on my physical skills and talents…instead of Him. When I think to highly of myself He does it to remind me that I am marked and chosen…and no matter how far I might stray from the pen, that I am His. When the pain comes on, I am reminded to return to God in prayer and usually the pain is instantaneously lifted. I have been comforted by the gentleness of His staff…but this was the first time that I was comforted by the rod. When has God used pain and suffering in your life to bring you back to Him?