“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” – (1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV)
As a sports fan, I am sure you know that the one thing that can completely derail your expectations is an injury. What would Ken Griffey, Jr. have accomplished if he stayed healthy? What more could Peyton Manning have accomplished if it wasn’t for his neck issues? Would the Warriors have even won the 2015 NBA Finals if Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were healthy?
A player’s season or career can change in an instant. Your team can go from a contender to a pretender with one mis-step or awkward landing. As we saw with Gordon Hayward’s horrific injury recently, a season filled with hope can be deflated in an instant.
It can be tempting for us non-athletes to complain about our team’s best players sitting for “minor” injuries or taking days off to rest. If they would just push themselves, it could turn the team around. I mean, they make millions to play a game, right?
I was recently educated on one of the most common diseases we read about in the Bible: leprosy. I had always assumed it was just an awful rash that was super contagious and ate away at your skin. And while most of that may be true, the worst thing about the disease is that it killed nerve endings so that the person with it could no longer feel pain in the infected area.
You may be thinking that it would be pretty sweet not to feel pain. But if you think about it, pain is essential for our survival. If we did not feel pain when we get burned by a stove top, we would likely remain touching the burner until we were severely injured. Or we would be less likely to treat a wound before infection took over our bodies.
If we are unable to notice that something bad is happening to our bodies, we are much less likely to treat the issue before it becomes a major problem.. The same could be said for our spiritual pain. God uses the Holy Spirit to convict us, our fellow Christians to hold us accountable, and our difficult circumstances to remind us that we need Him. None of these things are pleasant, but we must recognize that painful situations are essential for us to stay on the right path in our journey with Christ.
So the next time you are hurting and wondering where God is, try to remind yourself that the pain is His way of showing you exactly where He is.
And the next time your guy takes a few days off with a pulled muscle, give him a break. Do you really want him to risk further injury? Come on!
– Jamie Boggs
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