Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This is Not Good For Me

This is not good for me,” I thought in that long pause of a moment that my body was preparing itself for a hard landing on the basketball court.

David had just traded positions with his friend Jack. “You guard my mom,” he said and I should have taken those words as a warning. Jack was playing more aggressive defense than David (whose feet were getting tired) and I didn't take that into consideration as I started dribbling toward the basket. Jack planted himself directly in front of me...and down I crashed. Not very gracefully. 

Surprisingly, ten year old Jack, the 70 pound Wall, suffered no injuries.

This is how I imagine the scene right before I collided with Jack

“That was not one of your finer moments,” Charly laughed as he offered his hand to lift me off the ground. The stars were still circling around my head like they do in the cartoons as I hobbled off to the side to watch the rest of the game.

Daniel hopped over from the kid team to join Charly, and they still pulled off a victory before Jack needed to go home.

After we walked home from the school playground, I began to wonder if I had cracked a rib. Anything beyond shallow breathing was causing stabs of chest pain. Certain positions felt increasingly uncomfortable. But fortunately, after a good night's sleep, the pain and soreness have been better today. And I'm hopeful that more healing will come with the passing of time.

All of the basketball action yesterday affected David as well, and his left foot was hurting him quite a bit this morning. He decided to use his wheelchair and walker again at school, and he shed a few tears over both the physical pain and the defeated feeling of going backward instead of forward in his recovery.

His physical therapist examined his feet at his lunchtime appointment and said it looked like an ankle sprain. So she taped it, gave him shoe inserts for more support, recommended icing his ankle twice a day, and gave him some exercises to reduce the swelling.

Pain can enter our lives through so many different avenues. It causes us to slow down and reevaluate what's going on in our lives. And it often brings a combination of discouragement and a desire for improvement.

I really like Max Lucado's perspective on the choice we have to hear negative or positive voices, in his book Facing Your Giants: “Two types of thoughts continually vie for your attention. One says, “Yes, you can.” The other says, “No you can't.” One says “God will help you.” The other lies, “God has left you.” One speaks the language of heaven; the other deceives...One proclaims God's strengths; the other lists your failures. One longs to build you up, the other seeks to tear you down. And here's the good news: you select the voice you hear.

Which voice do you most often hear—the one that trumpets God's strengths or the one that recounts your failures?

How can you get better at listening to the voice that builds you up and disregarding the voice that tears you down?”

Training ourselves to listen to God's voice can enable us to find perspective and renewed strength in Him, like David did at one of the lowest points in his life when his men wanted to stone him. “David found strength in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6)

He didn't give up, but decided to keep pressing on.

The thought, “This is not good for me” can become “How might God turn this into good for me?

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