Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Trying Times

Some people call me a wimp. Some people say I'm accident prone. I don't believe either one! I think I am just a trophy of grace!

At the end of September I broke my ring finger on my left hand playing football. After several weeks in a cast a couple of weeks taped up, my finger is pretty much back to normal now. So what do I do? Go play football again! What else?

Yeah, you guessed it. Bad idea. The very first time I was back on the field, I jammed my index finger on my right hand and broke a rib. *Sigh.* The finger's a little sore but doing fine. The rib hurts like crazy. I am now the official referee.

For some people these may be frustrating things. Come to think of it, that's exactly what they are for me, too. I have enjoyed playing with the teens and have been really frustrated about not being able to really play much anymore. I figure it may not be worth it to go back out and play hardcore. Those of you who know me well know that I've never really played a lot of sports. It's not that I don't like them, I have just invested my time in other ways. So why, when I finally get to play on a regular basis--even as a ministry--does God let such discouraging things happen?

It's time for theology to say hello to reality. "Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4). The endurance production business is not a fun one, but James insists that it is my faith, not my endurance that is being tested. My endurance is being developed by the testing of my faith.

So the issue at hand (no pun intended) is that broken fingers, broken ribs and having to sit out of football is a test of whether I believe what God has said about himself. God has promised to withhold no good thing from me (Psalm 84:11). Do I believe him? God has promised that everything that comes into my life will be to make me more like Christ (Romans 8:28). Do I believe him?

That's why I say I am a trophy of grace! My broken bones and frustrated desires are an opportunity for me to express to everyone around me that God is great and God is good and his plans are infinitely more important and infinitely more satisfying than my own!


david said...

yoi, Will. well, glad God is continuing His blessed work of perfection. sounds painful, though. praying for you.

Will said...

Thanks. Several people have "congratulated" me now on another broken bone. Oh well! I consider myself blessed.