When God's Ways are Higher Than Our Ways — Nicole O'Meara

“Are you serious?!  A broken foot is the last thing you need.”

“Haven’t you been through enough?”

“Just when you were making real progress—“

Those were the most common responses to the news that I broke my foot.  While sweet, they implied, perhaps unintentionally, that God was being too harsh, maybe even uncaring.

It had only been one year since my spinal cord injury when I fell and broke my foot.  I had just barely started walking again. (I call it “walking” but a toddler might possibly be doing it better.) Being forced to wear a boot for six weeks felt like a giant step backwards, or at the very least a big slow-down in my progress.

That was the thinking at the time.  And, in way, it made sense.  

  • I didn’t need a broken foot with all the limitations that go with it, like being unable to drive or walk up the stairs at the office or walk to the bathroom to pee in the middle of the night.  (That took some creative problem-solving.)  
  • I had been through a lot: rehab, PT, a wheelchair, low blood pressure, and on and on.
  • I was making progress.  Despite all odds, I was continuing to gain muscle and grow new neural pathways.  

“Logic” said a broken foot was too much right now.  

But God doesn’t think like we think.  

Trust His Thinking

God tells us is in Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV), 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Our Thoughts:
The limitations of the walking boot on my broken foot meant my physical therapist and coaches had to modify my exercises.  Instead of working on ankle muscles, quads, and walking, we focused on shoulders, core, and hamstrings.  Oh, the hamstrings!

The hamstrings, I have been told, are one of the last muscle groups to “turn on” after a spinal cord injury, if they do at all.  Mine hadn’t, which has made learning to walk very, very difficult.  

Our thoughts ran along the lines of: Shoot, this is not good.

His Thoughts:
But something funny happened as my bones silently healed within the boot.  All the work we put into my hamstrings, along with carrying 8 extra pounds of walking boot, woke up my hamstrings!  They started to move.  By the time the podiatrist cleared me to walk without the boot, I could lift my right knee and pull my right heel back towards my rear-end, something I was unable to do before I broke my foot.  It was a miracle! 

What we thought was a giant step backwards, was actually what my body needed to move forward in my recovery.  I was still on the road to recovery. I hadn’t taken a wrong turn, or ignored the GPS and gotten lost. God’s way, his path for my recovery, was best—much better than the way we had planned. God knew exactly what I needed and it wasn’t what we thought—it wasn’t even something we would have considered.  A broken foot was the way forward?  Nah.


Sometimes, what feels like a defeat is merely a detour on the path.  Trust the God who guides you.  “My ways are higher than your ways,” He said. 

Where do you struggle to trust God’s way?

Let me send you some encouragement in the way of 12 Verses to Help You Endure.


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