“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28 NIV).
During my time as a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter, I injured my neck. For weeks I couldn’t turn my head fully to the left or right. Now six years later, I have re-injured my neck many times. I have hurt it by carrying my son across my shoulders up the stairs. By someone tumbling over my head at a wave pool. And just recently by having a heavy bar across my shoulders while doing squats.
I’m praying for healing, but until then, I am very aware that I must take care when putting pressure or friction on that tender area.
Today, I lifted weights for the first time in over a month since I recently re-injured my neck. As I worked out, I did everything to keep my neck stable and my core strong. I thought about the injury I received six years ago, wishing I could have avoided it, but there is no sense regretting the past. We cannot change what’s been done. Injuries like this can make people fearful of sports, such as MMA fighting or bodybuilding or any physical activity for that matter. But what would the answer be? To avoid all sports and all physical activities all together? Avoidance would only lead to muscle atrophy and life boredom, which has many more negative implications.
No. The best thing I can do is to be aware of my hurts, modify when I can and continue to find safe ways to do what I love–bodybuilding. I write this because I think of the emotional and spiritual hurts that we carry. Someone hurt us in the past, and the trauma can be reignited through the years by others– sometimes purposely but mostly accidentally. We have to make a choice. We can either shut out all relationships and suffer emotional and spiritual atrophy and definitely life boredom, or we can be like the Apostle Paul, and be aware of our weaknesses, trusting God’s power to ignite in those tender areas of our being.
We don’t have to regret the past because God promises that ALL THINGS work for our good. I find it interesting that the very weakness in my life is the very place that I have found strength–writing several health and fitness books and books about competitive sports, MMA and Bodybuilding. God’s power truly does rest on our weaknesses as we give our trauma to Him. So what injury are you holding onto? Have you closed yourself off in that area or are you willing to walk in that weakness, trusting God’s power to flow in your life? Take account of your injuries but don’t let them stop you from living the best life that God has for you.
“But he 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12.9 NIV).