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Is this Advil or the Gospel?

I played basketball in high school and, before my senior year season, the team was required to do a lot of pre-season conditioning. During those weeks, I developed a shin splint in my left leg. Instead of going to my coach and asking how for help, however, I pushed through the pain. Why? I didn’t want to look weak or make a big deal, I didn’t want to miss out, seniors should be able to handle it themselves, etc. I had a list of mental reasons I didn’t talk to my coach. I assumed the pain would just go away at some point . . . Instead, the shin splint eventually turned into a fracture. I was benched for eight weeks to wear a boot while it healed, missing the majority of my senior season. 

There has been a misconception in my life that weakness is off-limits. It has been this little voice in the back of my head that says I should “be strong and control my feelings.” We leaders, whether in the marketplace, ministry, or leading our own kids at home, are tempted to keep our heads down and just keep pushing through the painful situations. However, when we do this, those unattended points of pain will eventually fracture our hearts, leaving us disconnected from the Father, others, and even ourselves. 

In his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul writes, “But he (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

Where did this lie that we have to graduate from needing help, healing, and being human come from? When did weakness become a curse word? In my life, I have tended to use good news of the Gospel more like an Advil to numb the pain. Trying to push through hard things because I knew that “All things work together for good to those that love God . . . ” A very true statement. Yet misconceptions about the nature of weakness turned such verses into a method of disassociation rather than an invitation into a deeper place with the Father. The thing about pain is that it doesn’t go away, but it can heal. Healing comes when we are humble and honest about the pain under the surface. We have the choice to walk around on fractured legs or surrender to His invitation for help and healing. 

The good news of the Gospel gets even good-er (bad English) when we let its light touch every place in our lives, not just the ones we want or understand. It’s the weak, hard, scarred, broken, confusing places in us that are longing for His healing touch. Jesus, full of sufficient grace, wants to be with us in those places. The question is, will we let Him?

Miriam Beard
Miriam Beard
Miriam has the loudest laugh in the Garden Global team office. She loves the Lord and loves living her life pursuing Him and being with people. She loves stories, has way too many house plants, and cries when she sees a cute dog or a beautiful landscape.

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