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Life on the "Bench"

Hey Y’all, Ellie Here! We have been having an awesome summer out at camp and have had the joy of meeting many people and chatting with them. It is so much fun to see campers come to know Jesus more. As we continue our summer, we would love it if you’d reach out with questions you would like to have discussed on our blog. Remember, no question is too weird or hard for God. We will do our best to provide a Biblical perspective for you!

As you may know, I had foot surgery in late February to address an old injury from three years ago. The surgery went well and recovery was fast, but lately, a new alarming pain has started in the same foot. I go back to the doc tomorrow to see what it is that is going on. It has been a long road to get where I am now, and honestly I am kinda frustrated and down that the road keeps going… It feels like I have been on the sidelines of activity for various injuries for the last couple years.

I grew up being very active and involved in sports. I wasn’t a star athlete, but I’ve always enjoyed being active. I find that in times when I am anxious, getting up and moving around really helps me release and calm down. Now that that has been gone, I have had to really cling to the comforting presence of God. How do you live well on the “bench”?

If you struggle to believe God loves you, and trials keep coming into your life, don’t panic. They’re more related than you realize.

Imperfect World

Injury, on a small scale, is a reflection of our imperfect, fallen world. Our bodies break down and don’t always perform as we like because the whole of creation is tainted by our sin, our rebellion against God starting in Genesis. This does not inherently mean that your sin has directly affected you in the form of injury or illness. It could be a consequence of an action, but it may not be related. Injury/Illness are the result of living in a sinful world. Our bodies are no longer perfect and whole. We are temporary beings.

We so often find it hard to get through suffering and it is truly one of the reasons people give for not believing in God.

2 Corinthians 4:7-11 says

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

Our bodies are beautiful and breakable. We are intricately formed by our creator. God is the potter and we are the clay. When we put our faith and trust in him, we receive a treasure so wonderful to hold: “The light of the Gospel through Jesus Christ.” We carry this truth inside of us, yet only through the cracks in the clay can the light be seen. I am learning that in my weakness is where Christ’s strength is perfected.

Hold Onto This Truth

One day, our bodies (jars of clay) will be traded for eternal bodies in Heaven. We will once again be without blemish. If you put your faith and trust in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, you will be saved. This life is short in the scheme of eternity. We are only here for so long. I, in no way, mean to downplay the pain and frustration of being injured or ill. It is awfully difficult. Yet, I want to have the perspective that the temporary sufferings of this world are in no way in vain for the glory to come. God is working. I know he is present with me.

Psalm 29:11

The Lord gives his people strength The Lord blesses his people with peace

This is how we live well on the “bench”

Reliance on Christ. Expectantly seeking his light to shine through our cracks.

This is no easy task, but here are some practical ways to practice.

  1. Be Honest

  2. Try not to downplay or overreact to your diagnosis or injury.

  3. Seek understanding of what the healing/treatment will look like.

  4. Ask questions.

  5. Keep a Journal

  6. Like David through the Psalms, journal your feelings and frustrations as well as your victories through the healing process.

  7. Read through the Psalms to remind yourself of the character and nature of God.

  8. Grieve

  9. There will be things that you won’t be able to do. That will be very difficult if you’re anything like me.

  10. Take time to feel those feelings.

  11. Invite a close friend or family member and talk with them about it. Tell them how they can help you when they ask.

  12. Check out our blog about Grief

  13. Rest

  14. Take your treatment seriously and rest with intention

  15. The expectations and pressure of life will never stop, so take the moments of downtime seriously and intentionally.

  16. Shine

  17. Tell your story, and how the light resides in you even in the darkness of your injury/illness

You are loved. I pray this helps you or inspires you to live well when “benched”.

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