My Tears in Physical Therapy…and Habakkuk’s Prayer

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 in Food and Fitness | 69 comments

About one month ago I was on the “Total Gym” in physical therapy, and as EVERY patient and therapist could see me in the large, open room, I was mustering every bit of self-control I could to keep my tears inside my ducts. How I wished I were outside and could simply put on sunglasses, but inside this room there was nowhere to hide. I could barely—and I do mean barely—bend my left knee both because of searing pain under my knee cap as well as a severely debilitating weakness in my quadricep. All of my trying to have a good attitude these last couple months had finally come to a halt as I simply could not believe how much my life had changed.

I wanted to tell the little old man riding the bike next to me how strong I used to be…how much weight I used to be able to press with a single leg when I was on my figure and fitness team. I had this overwhelming feeling that my therapist and everyone else in the room had no idea of my former physical prowess, and I wanted them to know the impressive highlights. Tormented by these completely irrational thoughts racing through my brain and feeling the pain from my broken heart, my little tears were the ones with the strength that day as they escaped my ducts’ hold and quietly ran down my cheeks. After these last five years of being known for my fitness, I asked God what He was thinking, allowing my body to endure this brokenness?

Immediately—and I do mean immediately—He reminded me of Habakkuk’s prayer: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:17-19). I don’t know about you, but I find these words to be some of the most beautiful and encouraging in the Bible.

My Sovereign Lord was saying to me, “Though the pain in your knee is horrible and you can’t even press ten pounds, though nobody really understands what you’re going through because you still look fit on the outside, still rejoice in me, for I am your strength.  Just as your heart and mind have been broken in the past and I have mended them, your body is now broken, too, for My purposes.  Remember I am your Savior; I can make your leg able to bound like a deer, enabling you to once again hike and even run in My beautiful mountains.” Wow. I was blown away. Yes, the whole feet/knee, heights/mountains comparison was cool because God knows how much I used to love running in the nearby mountains, but more than anything was I encouraged by: “The Sovereign Lord is my strength.” Of course I already knew this at a certain level, but this day it was like a shot in the arm with new, more powerful medicine.

As I write this about a month later, my leg is not fully healed but I have made progress. Just as in the past my heart and mind have taken TIME to rebuild, I know my body needs that too. I know that every day God will be my strength, and I pray I don’t miss what else He wants to teach me.

Is there some way Habakkuk’s words encourage you? If so, I would love to hear.


  1. I am in rehab now for my 2nd knee surgery in 7 months. Your words and feelings are exactly how I feel. Needed this scripture; gonna meditate on it.

    • Veronica,
      Thank you for writing! It is a beautiful, powerful Scripture that has meant a lot to me, too, over the years. I hope and pray your rehab has gone well and that you and your knee are healthy:)

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