A Promise Fulfilled
By Kimberly Miller
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6).
Many years ago, when I was seventeen, I completely destroyed my left knee. I spent many months flat on my back in traction, unable to do most normal things of life. I was forced to be homeschooled and given the opportunity to spend many hours of every day looking straight up. My parents prayed and worked tirelessly. I prayed and worked tirelessly, and God was gracious. Eighteen months after the traumatic injury, I was standing on a tennis court and playing the game I so loved.
For months, I had been given much opportunity to commune with God and to witness others pray on my behalf and earnestly beg God for my healing. I had a lot of time to reflect upon my own life and quickly but not lightly realized that somewhere between being good at tennis and being great, I had lost sight of God’s rightful place in my heart. Tennis had become some sort of god to me. No, I wasn’t out doing what most Christians categorize ( a bad habit with no scriptural basis) as sin. I was sinning in my heart by placing something in front of my relationship with God. I was putting something between me and Him.
One night, in the middle of the night, in a still small voice in my heart, I knew exactly what the time of healing for my knee was giving me. It was making a choice I couldn’t be trusted to make and it was giving me time to understand who God fully was. I understood His power and His grace. I also understood His requirement to love Him above all else.
By God’s amazing grace and His gift of second chances (by the way, He is a God of many chances) my knee was restored to playing status. However, there were a couple of differences. One difference was it did not move quite as fluidly as before so I wasn’t as fast as before the surgery. But, even more noticeably was that forever and always there was a bit of pain, a click or a twinge that was always reminding me what God had done for me. The knee was free to play and again, I was free to choose. I continued to play, though warned by every doctor who had operated on me and every team physician that readied me to play each match, that it was going to cost me dearly to keep playing on the knee. I continued to play. In some ways, it was like I served the game that had brought me such joy and yes, pain.
I was no stranger to pain and I was conditioned to do what it took to maintain myself in playing shape. It was all good in my mind. But, there was still this constant reminder in my left knee. During this time of my life it was a constant fight between being so prideful, living for myself and the Call of the Lord upon my life. I was balancing them carefully and working to keep God as Lord of my life. I would talk with Him constantly about it and as things would start to spiral out of balance that knee would scream and remind me of all I had learned in my room when I was 17.
While battling this constant fight, I would tell myself, if I make it really big, I will tell everyone about how God would give you the desires of your heart, if you just submit to Him. After all that is what it says in the Bible. Well, what it actually says is: “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart,” (Psalm 37:4). You see, like so many, I was trying to tell God what was best for me and I was trying (stupidly) to bargain with Him. After all, what do I have to use to bargain with almighty God? I have nothing because all I am and all I ever will be is through and by Him. But at 17, it sounded so good. It made so much sense. But, I wasn’t 17 anymore and I had learned a few things about who God was and what an amazing friend He was and how much He loved me. You see, I learned what it meant to delight in Him. It wasn’t long until I couldn’t understand just why my knee wasn’t perfect. Why were there still glimpses of the injury manifested in the movement of the knee and the pain? Then it happened. In a small still voice within my heart, God revealed to me how very much He loved me. It was crystal clear to me that the knee would be a constant reminder of the lessons learned until I no longer needed the reminder.
Months turned into years. Years turned into decades and time just continued. I never forgot what I had learned from the experience but wondered if God would ever use something so tragic to me, as a vessel for Him to be glorified. Then it happened. He let me coach high school tennis. He didn’t just let me coach. He let me coach champions and help to mold them into wonderful ladies and gentlemen. He even let me win coach of the year for boys tennis in the state of West Virginia. He let me soar as high as I could go, all the while my knee would scream from time to time but would always remind me of the proper place tennis had in my life.
Then it really happened. All that has happened up until this moment are wonderful pieces of data to show how very deeply God cares for His children. How he knows what is best but truly will give you the desires of your heart when your desire is Him. It is all about how much God loved me to let me keep something I loved so dearly in my life (tennis) that I couldn’t control but He could when I let Him. The pain, the noise and the less than fluid movement were all reminders of what God can do when we let Him have control.
Then it really happened. I am sitting on the cusp of a major miracle. Tomorrow, November 27th, I am going to have my knee replaced. The time has come that God knows He can trust me to keep tennis in its proper place and God as ruler of my life. To you and others, tomorrow may just be another knee replacement. But to me, it is the fulfillment of a promise. He began a good work in me and He is continuing to perform it. I don’t need a defective knee to keep me in line. I have a God who loves me and orchestrates my every move. Please pray that during this last battle with my knee, my witness is strong and my light shines brightly. To God be the glory for the great things He has done. “For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name,” (Luke 1:49).