RIDING THE BOARDWALK

Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Psalm 138: 6 NLT

You rescue the humble, but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them. O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness. [2 Samuel 22:28-29 (NLT)]12-29-2014 DSC_0015 (1)WEB

I ate my pride recently and it didn’t taste half bad. My bad ankle has kept us from taking our favorite walk on the boardwalk in a local bird sanctuary. My husband kindly offered to push me in one of the wheelchairs that are available. My first reaction was one of indignation. “I’m not handicapped; I just have a stress fracture. I’ll walk it; I don’t need your help!” He wisely pointed out that the distance we’d walk was not within the parameters of what I was told I could walk, even in my air-boot cast. Nevertheless, I was still outraged. “Only old people need wheelchairs,” I thought; “I’m not that decrepit!” I wondered what people would think when they saw me: would they see a feeble old lady? My vanity and pride shouted, “No way!” I wasn’t going to humiliate myself in a wheelchair. Then I paused, perhaps because I heard an inner voice whispering, “Conceited woman, think again!” I’d been given an amazingly generous offer. My husband was not only willing to push me, but to stop for me every time I wanted to take a photograph. What on earth was I thinking? Of course, I’d go!

So, I ate my pride and rode in the wheelchair. I joked with a little boy in his stroller that my stroller was bigger than his. I smiled and said “Hello” to all I met. I saw a young woman with her husband in his electric wheelchair. His handicap wasn’t temporary and he’ll never be able to walk the boardwalk. I said a prayer of thanksgiving as my husband and I recalled how just six months ago, following his back surgery, he needed a cane to walk slowly on the same boardwalk; now he is able to push me around with no difficulty. Thank you, God, for your many blessings! How could I have almost let pride keep me from enjoying a morning in His beautiful creation?12-29-2014 DSC_0015 (2)web

We had a wonderful time walking through the swamp. The string lilies were in full bloom, wood storks were everywhere, a red-shouldered hawk greeted us, a heron posed for us, and a pair of turtles basked for us! What did people think when they saw me? They probably thought, “Isn’t that a lucky woman to have a husband who loves her enough to push her along the boardwalk!” Indeed, I am!

Why are we so hesitant to accept help when it’s offered? It’s pride that keeps me from admitting my weakness; I want to appear strong even when I’m not. It nearly kept me from enjoying a walk on the boardwalk. Pride should never keep us from acknowledging our vulnerability, inability, and need. We may not feel deserving of whatever help is offered, but let us never reject any assistance we can get. We may not feel worthy of God’s loving grace, but think of the walk we’d miss if we didn’t accept His offer!

Lord, thank you for the help you offer and provide to your children. Keep us from being so prideful that we miss the joys of life for fear of seeming weak. Let us see strength in a willingness to admit our vulnerability.

But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress and the Lord hears my voice. [Psalm 55:16-17 (NLT)]