God's Overflow
"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" – Luke 6:45

“Soccer Saves” Part V – “Playing Through the Injuries”


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I was getting quite comfortable playing the game. I was making some great stops, I was getting comfortable with my teammates and their styles of play, but that all came to a screeching halt.

For those that have never played sports, be happy that you’ve never experienced what I’m about to write. If you think that delivering a baby is painful, you’ve never experienced pain like this… ok, well, maybe I’m wrong on that point, but the pain is unbearable.

When you wear cleats for the first time in over a year or two, your feet have to get used to the snug fit of your cleats again. As you continue on playing your sport, the skin on the back of your heel starts to wear away. It starts as a water blister, but eventually that blister pops, and the skin is exposed. You usually don’t feel it immediately… you’d think that something as large as that would be felt with an immediate jolt of pain, but apparently I’m wrong. It’s not until your skin has been rubbing against your sock and the back of the cleat that the immense pain starts.

You take the cleats and sock off to investigate exactly where the problem lies. When you examine the back of your heal, you see where the injury is. It almost looks like someone took a scalpel and was about to perform heal surgery. The skin is worn away, the new skin is exposed, but it is very painful. You have no choice but to move on from the wound.

It hurts. Badly. You almost feel like you can’t walk with sneakers on for the next four months let alone put the cleats on a week later to try again. When you attempt to walk the next day with sneakers on, you can’t bear more than two or three steps without looking like an old man walking with a cane. The absolute worst is when you have to take your first shower with the new look to your heal. I liken it to someone taking the most corrosive acid to flesh known to man and pouring right on the spot where the injury is.

When you play in a league, you have no choice but to go out again whenever your next game is and play through the pain. You can tape up your ankles, you can wear two or three pairs of socks to try to minimize the pain and wear on your ankles, but when it comes down to it, the only way you can play without having to worry about the injury is to play through it. You must put the same wear and tear that you were putting on the area the prior week to start to form a callous. As you continue to go week to week, the pain starts to subside, the skin grows thicker, until you finally get to the point where you won’t have to worry about pain in that area again… that is, until you stop playing for a year or two, and they process starts over again.

Isn’t that what a lot of our walk with Christ looks like?

When God decides that it’s time to chisel off yet another piece of the hard rock exterior of behaviors that we’ve molded around our body, it’s always a very fresh cut. That first cut is always the worst. A lot of times, we don’t see it coming. God will start to chip off the first layer, but we may not actually see that step. As He continues to chip away at the pieces, we feel a little bit of discomfort starting to form, but we take our eyes off of His work and continue to go through our day-to-day without giving it much of a second thought.

That’s when God decides to stop using a hammer and chisel, and decides to bring out the jack hammer. We’re walking along in our normal day and then something happens that brings attention to the area that God is trying to correct. We immediately stop what we’re doing and focus on the pain. You may immediately go into prayer trying to seek God out on finding out why He’s doing what he is. You may be one that focuses directly on the pain whose instant reaction is to stop the pain. You may be one that bypasses the only one who can comfort us in this time and tries to get ministering from friends and pastors. Either way, you know something is not right.

When you start to discover the potentially life-changing work that God is doing in your behavior, you have to realize that He wants to help you to create your spiritual “callous”. He wants to change your behavior and deliver you from the situation so that, when faced with something He has planned for you in the future, you can flourish instead of fail. He may continue to throw the same situation your way in order to help you to create a thicker and stronger callous. Eventually, when faced with that particular situation, you will be able to push through it without fail. Your character will have evolved, and when you find someone else who is in the same situation, you will be able to speak into their life and help them to push through their trial.

PRAYER: Lord, we thank you that you want to mold us into your image. We thank you for the trials and tribulations that you allow in our lives to help us to build our spiritual “callous”. As I continue to push through these trials, show me your never-ending love. Continue to give me your never-ending strength and peace so that I may endure the trials to build up more of a Godly character. I want nothing more than to be more like you, and I thank you that you’ve chosen me to do your work in. I love you more than anything in this world, and I want nothing more than to bring your name higher in this world. I thank you that you are doing this to me so that more glory will be brought to your name… and it’s in your mighty name I pray, Amen!

The Skit Guys have done a fantastic skit regarding what it’s like while God is trying to chisel all of the things in our lives that are not glorifying His name. Below is the video… be warned, it is a powerful video!

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