Someone asked me once if Jesus was just a "crutch" in my life. This person thought it was weak of me to depend on something (or someone) other than myself and he thought people who claim to follow Jesus were just using Him as a crutch - an excuse to not deal with the reality of life.
When he first asked me this, I was really taken back. Of course I said "No way! He's not a crutch to me at all!" I never thought of Jesus as a "crutch" and certainly didn't feel like I was using Him as an excuse to not deal with the reality of life.
It immediately made me think of the Psalm 23 where it says "Your rod and Your staff - they comfort me". The dictionary describes a staff as this: a stick, pole, or rod for aid in walking or climbing, for use as a weapon. In the hand of Almighty God, a staff can protect us and defend us! And I don't know about you, but that sure does give me comfort.
I could not help but notice that a crutch is used for the lame or infirm person in walking. Honestly, I love this. I'm fully aware of the fact that without Jesus Christ, I am lame and completely infirm. That is why I came to Him. In order to walk out this life, I need Him to help me. Without Him nothing is possible, but with Him, all things are possible. As my pastor says, things are "Him-possible"!
I was drawn to the part in the definition that said, "a crosspiece at one end to fit under the armpit." That, to me, is so rich in meaning when I apply it to the kind of support that Jesus offers me. There are days when I just don't feel like I can go on. Those are the days when He lifts me up by the armpits and carries me on. Psalm 28:8-9 says "The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever."
The fact that the crutch has a "crosspiece" is not lost on me, either. How is it possible that Christ can carry me, support me, have a relationship with me and give me strength for this weary life? Only because of what happened on that Cross on Calvary. He took my punishment on the cross. I recently re-watched The Passion of the Christ and was again reminded of His deep and unfathomable love for me. Every whip, every hit, every nail, all of the pain and suffering - it should have been me. I was the one who deserved that punishment! I deserved to die! But He loved me so much that He took my place. The crosspiece on the crutch is a reminder of the Gospel that sets me free! And He did that for you, too.
So, I suppose if you asked me today if Jesus was my "crutch" I'd say absolutely. I do not lean on Him so I don't have to deal with the realities of life, though. I lean on Him because only with Him am I capable of dealing with those realities!
He paid a great price to be my "crutch" and I gladly take Him up every day and lean on Him so my lame feet can walk on this earth. I can't do it alone! Thank God He provided The Way so I don't have to.
Isaiah 35:1-6 says "...they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you." Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert."