Monday, October 13, 2014

on misalignment...


Chiropractors scare me. At least, they always did… until I went to one.

Naturally, I was having some pain in my back and neck. Before they can begin adjusting you, they have to take x-rays of your spine, back, etc. As the resident hypochondriac of my friends and family, my first question to my chiropractor in lieu of my x-rays was “Do I have any masses? Any tumor-like substances in my chest? Cancer? Honestly, I am expecting something like that, so you can tell me, I think I can take it...” LITERAL WORDS. Apparently, I wore my crazy pants that day. And, as I am sure to your shock and amazement, there were no masses found. Praise Jesus and hallelujah! (Seriously, I was praising Jesus, because again, CRAZY PANTS).

What he did in fact find was that my neck was in Stage 1 Misalignment. He told me that this happens most commonly from car accidents, or other instances where whiplash has occurred. The cause of my misalignment is different than that of a bad case of whiplash, and my chiropractor and I created a plan to get my neck back to its healthy, normally curved state.  

Friends, I was dwelling on this thought of misalignment and health and all that God has taught me through this long season…

It’s easy to become misaligned; the whiplash of life’s tragedies and joys throw us out of tune with our Lord.

Align: to make straight, to make parallel, to support.

To align ourselves to Jesus is to make ourselves parallel to Him, to support Him and His causes for this world, for our own hearts.

The loss of a friendship, moving cross-country for a new career opportunity, the knowledge of an affair, the loss of a child, an unplanned pregnancy, unmet desires of the heart, addiction, waiting seasons, frail emotions, or the painful, spiritual dry spell... It’s hard, it’s messy. All of these things can cause spiritual whiplash and spiritual misalignment in our lives... How do we praise God during a deep tragedy, one that shakes the very core of who we are and who we believe God to be? How do we continue to dwell in His presence daily when life seems to give us a little more than we can handle?

And there are other times when our lives become misaligned and we are simply not aware. I had no idea that my neck was in such a bad shape until I started experiencing pain. Little habits created my pain, and it wasn’t until I experienced the pain that I became aware of them and was able to begin trying to change them. Sometimes, it takes tangible pain to wake us up from the hole we have dug in our own sin. 

Misalignment in our spiritual lives, I think, shows up in very different ways… Idolatry, wrong motivations, lack of spiritual discipline, and loss of direction. Our hearts become unruly and we cling to emotion rather than truth. (Side note: John Piper has an AMAZING article on praying for your heart. You can find it here.) This is where we recognize our state, diagnose our misalignment, and create a plan to correct it (much like my chiropractor and I did). This will take a lot of prayer, discipline, and patience with Jesus, but again, aligning ourselves to Christ is a lifelong journey.

Tragedy shakes us and unhealthy habits form us, but we have a God who has enough grace and mercy and power to mold us into something beautiful despite those things.

Throughout any type of tragedy or season, God is faithful and good and welcomes our unruly character back into His presence. He takes the whiplash, the sinful habits and blunt tragedies, and uses them to reconstruct us to Himself. The misalignment is then re-aligned through a new desire for Christ and His work in our lives.

Be encouraged today, that if you feel lost, or dry, or misaligned, that He will be faithful to turn you back to Him. 

Align yourself to Him, for He is the only one worthy of being aligned to, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it may be.

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