“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:26
If you read this post from earlier this year, you’ll remember that I was on crutches for nearly three months due to a stress fracture close to my hip. I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d be able to play soccer for my college this season. By the time it was over, I’d been sidelined for close to nine months. It was an intense time of trusting the Lord to be glorified no matter the outcome.
And the cool thing was that I recovered just in time to start conditioning. By the time our opener rolled around, my body was in great shape, ready for the season. The lineup for the first game was announced, and I was a starter! I was so excited– I gave God all the glory for bringing me through that trial.
But, isn’t it funny how things work? When you think you’ve learned what you were supposed to from the trial, God will sometimes give you another opportunity.
15 minutes into our first game, I went to poke a ball out of bounds…but right as I hit the ball, the opposing player kicked into my extended foot, applying a tremendous amount of torque to my foot and ankle. The pain was pretty severe. I tried to walk it off, but I couldn’t run– this was different from other times I’d been kicked. After a few long minutes of no improvement, my coached subbed me out. Over the next few days, I was diagnosed with an ankle sprain and achilles tendon strain.
My season? Postponed for several weeks after initially lasting only 15 minutes. I was crushed. And frustrated. And confused. Why did this happen to me? I just came back from such a long injury…why, God, did you allow this to happen? You know how much this sport and my team mean to me.
I’ll admit…my attitude has not always been the greatest since it happened. The injury was a month ago, and I’m still not recovered enough to practice. It’s still a struggle at times, especially watching on the side as my team goes to battle without me! But, throughout this, God has constantly been leaving this thought in my head– “I am sovereign.” And ultimately, I need to rest in that, because being upset and frustrated about it will not change any of my circumstances.
God is about His glory, and as Christians, we must be about it, too. Romans 8 says that God is working all things for our good in order to mold us into the image of His Son. It is this that allows us as believers to face trials head on singing “It is well with my soul.” In His plan, my injury right now is bringing Him more glory and is shaping me into who he wants me to be more than if I was healthy. What a thought!
I want to encourage you with that. Life can be really hard sometimes. There will be trials you’ll face that defy explanation. But if you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you can rest because you are about His glory. You can rest, knowing that He is in control and has your best interest in mind. And you can rest, knowing that our happiness is not derived from health, success, or anything else we find in this life…those will flee away and change, but lasting happiness and peace is found in the One who is unchangeable.
As John Piper said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
This brings about the peace that surpasses all understanding, that the world looks at and has no explanation for. Use your trials as a witness. Say with joy, “God is my strength and my portion” (Psalm 73:26b).
This is conquering our trials.