Near the end of Larry Bird’s illustrious N.B.A. career, he would often be seen laying on his stomach on the floor, rather than sitting in a chair with the rest of the team. This unusual habit was because his back was in severe pain. Larry Bird was not the most gifted basketball player in the league but he was one of the best to ever play. He was fiercely competitive and willing to play with pain.
Injuries that bring physical pain happen, of course, not only on a basketball court. Painful and distressing experiences come from varied and often unsuspected places. Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says there is a time and a season for everything, including injuries and healing. I Peter 3:6 says that even when one walks with God, there will be bouts with pain. How can one play despite pain? How can one continue to compete and face life’s challenges in the midst of personal pain? Hebrews 12:12-13 offers some insight: “Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees, make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”
Healing is helped through wise choices. When one is injured, the most pressing thought is often to stop the pain, rather than to start the healing. Sometimes the choices that one makes to distract or numb the pain are temporary and counter productive. Being consumed by a destructive activity or unhealthy relationship (i.e., excessive work, pornography, co-dependent relationship) may bring some relief but no results. The above verses explain that strength comes to the weak and injured from choosing level paths in life. In the Bible, level paths refer to a godly direction that keeps one from stumbling and aggravating the injury.
The sign of true healing isn’t the absence of pain; it’s the ability to keep moving. Pain may be an indicator that an injury needs the healing time of rest, reflection, or comfort in being still before God. But to be discouraged or paralyzed because of the presence of pain isn’t necessary. If pain lingers, it could be from a loss or grief over another’s ways, e.g., Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Lingering pain may also be God’s avenue to bring character and closeness to Him (Philippians 3:10,11).
Larry Bird not only excelled in his personal game and helped the Boston Celtics win multiple championships, but he also made his teammates better players. When we make wise choices and continue to move with God in spite of personal pain, those around us whom we love benefit (Matt. 4:14-16, Hebrews 12:10, 11).
Praises: We have 2 new board members that love the Lord, love us, and believe in the value of Lighthouse Ministries. Couples are experiencing new levels of spiritual and personal closeness. Ginny returns from Geneva October 4th.
Prayer Requests: Children from broken homes need to get through their anger and insecurity. Couples who’ve experienced unfaithfulness need to trust God and build trust with each other again. Freedom for people who are in ruts, that they would experience new life styles, fresh joy and love, and would believe God has made them new creations.