It happened again. On a return trip from the grocery store, I tripped on a slightly dislodged segment of pavement, my right foot twisting as it alighted upon the awkwardly angled piece of cement. As I attempted to acrobatically twist my body to avoid dropping the food I was holding with both hands, searing pain shot through my body as I aggravated an old back injury. A few seconds passed as my vision slowly came back to focus, obscured by the fog of pain. My right ankle was throbbing and I could not stand upright because of my strained sacroiliac joint.
Somehow, I managed to hobble back home to quickly ice my ankle. As I rested on the bed, I was keenly aware that any movement exacerbated the pain in my back, only breathing was acceptable. Dejected, I realized I needed to take precautions to prevent this back injury from re-occurring.
For years, I was aware of my weakened and vulnerable sacroiliac joint. The preventive measures I was instructed to undertake were to strengthen the muscles that supported this critical joint, in other words, strengthen the core muscles. Yet, once I was over the acute phase of the pain, my interest in doing these exercises diminished. Once again, I was paying the price for a stubborn and lazy attitude.
There are so many areas within my spiritual walk with God that need core strengthening. Like my back, these weaknesses become exposed during periods of stress. In the middle of a busy day at work, I receive simultaneous phone calls from two different physicians needing immediate results as well as from my wife, inquiring about an issue with our children. Who do you think gets the least amount of my attention? Of course, it should not be this way and I rationalize my terse reply to my wife stating that I am at work and these issues are more urgent. If I simply took a step back and exercised patience and better judgment, an even tenser situation at home could have been avoided that evening. My pride and ego are my greatest weaknesses. I need to strengthen my patience and sensitivity to others to prevent further episodes of pain.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:11-12 (ESV)
Thanks be to God that He provides me the correct spiritual exercises and disciplines I need to deal with my spiritual weaknesses. God clothes me in the spiritual armor of His Word to direct my mind and actions to take my attention off my needs and focus upon His plan for my life. A spiritual war must be met with spiritual power and weapons. Only God, through faith and belief in His Son Jesus Christ, can provide this.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.