When I was a graduate student of physical therapy, we attended lab classes to practice what we learned in lectures. It was during those labs that I realized not one person in our class of forty students personified textbook ideals.
We were all flawed.
When we had a unit on posture, nobody had perfect posture. During exercise physiology class, some had excellent aerobic capacity, some anaerobic; some had great lifting strength; some good endurance—nobody had it all. We each had weaknesses.
Most of us weren’t even aware of our problem areas. Abnormal felt normal.
Our professors taught us that weaknesses often lead to injury or dysfunction; strong muscles tend to get even stronger, weak muscles get even weaker; when tasks are especially demanding those imbalances make us do compensatory movements that put us at greater risk for injury. We learned patient education and exercise techniques to activate and strengthen underused, atrophied muscles, and how to incorporate recovering muscles into whole body movement.
Since balanced strength minimizes injury and maximizes performance, our jobs as physical rehabilitation specialists were to identify patients’ problems and develop treatment plans to solve them.
I consider God as a “whole person” rehabilitation specialist. He deals with us in entirety—body, soul, and spirit. He is infinitely more insightful than a human therapist, and knows what within each of us is well developed, partially developed, and what has yet to emerge.
We each have our fortes and our flaws. One person may have enormous self-discipline but miniscule independent thinking. Another may have mastery of a vocation, but poor relationship skills. A person may have a mind rich with facts, but needs wisdom. Another may see the small picture clearly, but lacks global vision, or the even larger view from God’s perspective.
Our God sees and understands our strengths and weaknesses. He knows what skills, behaviors, talents, strategies, and paradigms are over- or under-used, and plans our training programs accordingly.
How does God, the rehabilitation specialist, develop each of us? Does he target our strengths or our weaknesses?
As much as we humans like to rely on our strengths, it is our weaknesses that God is likely to prioritize. It isn’t to condemn us, but to convert them. His goal is always to heal our injuries and maximize our lives. He orchestrates life circumstances to target untapped abilities or weak skills, and develops them to assets.
A man by the name of Jack once told me about his experience with God’s direct intervention. With the exception of his work life, Jack was most comfortable letting others tell him what to think. He didn’t view it as his mind being owned by others, but as it being “the right way”. Though his personal life was regularly in shambles and his mind in confusion, he never considered himself as contributing to his crises. But one day he suddenly saw it—God had given him the right to think, make independent decisions, to disagree and even oppose his maker. He had allowed misguided people to violate his free will, and was determined to reclaim it.
Soon after, Jack found himself in circumstances that called on his weakness. Initially, he felt insecure considering issues and making decisions at odds with majority thinking, but once he used what he’d not used before, he never returned to his imbalanced, atrophied ways. Truth, righteousness, and positive outcomes were Jack’s ongoing motivators.
We all have a chance to become strong in every area we possess. It is possible to be well rounded and whole, not just over-strong in some areas and weak in others. There are countless programs and professionals available to help, but to me only one is 100% reliable –
Only God provides all-encompassing rehabilitation that is brilliantly personalized, always in our best interests, and certain to avert injury and maximize life.