Back Pain and other Teachable Moments

As I write this post this morning, I have been living, the past five days with lower back
pain. On one hand, it is a constant reminder that I am on the downhill side of 50. Nothing works the way that it used to. You see, I was helping a friend put up his store of firewood and I did something. Immediately, I knew that I had done something I shouldn’t. I felt the pain in my lower back.

lower back pain
As the day went on, the pain and the stiffness grew more intense. Sunday morning, I could barely get out of bed and dress myself. Tuesday, I visited the chiropractor for the first time (Boy! am I glad that God has gifted people with His healing touch!). Yet today, I still have the pain that comes from being out of adjustment. My movements are slower, more deliberate, and I avoid certain actions and ranges of motion.

While the condition, with rest, with treatment, and with a GREAT deal of prayer is improving, the injury often reminds me that it is there! This morning, as I was lamenting the pain and limited mobility, the Holy Spirit reminded me that Paul prayed three times for his “pain in the flesh” to be removed from him. Yet, God didn’t seem, as far as we know, to answer that prayer as Paul wished. Paul acknowledges repeatedly that in our weakness, God’s power and God’s grace are made known.

Today, because I have a pain in my back, I am reminded of my desperate need to live in, to experience, and to know the power of the grace of God at work in my life. It is all too easy for me to live as if my life depends on me, on my strength, on my abilities, and on my wisdom. Such living dooms me to live beneath the potential we all have in the love and the grace of God.

Paul, the same Paul of the persistent thorn-in-the-flesh fame reminds us that we can do all things through Christ Jesus our Lord. When we live life in step with the Holy Spirit, God forms us in paths of God’s choosing. God provides for us the same Holy Spirit that is in Christ Jesus. We can be more than overcomers, if we learn to depend upon, to obey the leading of, and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.

This is not at easy lesson to learn. It means that we have to learn and practice daily surrender. It means that we have to lay aside the things that lead us away from God. It means that we must continually cultivate that deep inner relationship with God, so that we recognize His leading, and we can hear his voice.

Anyway, those are just my pained pondering today…

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