At the beginning of the summer I had the chance to run in a mini-marathon with my sister. I didn’t train for it much because we were going through spring training for soccer and my muscles were already sore so I guess I just didn’t think adding on a mini-marathon training regimen was a good idea. That ended up coming to bite me in the butt. The rest of this summer I’ve had to deal with a lot of pain in my achilles area, to the point where I’ve had to stop working out completely.
Last week we started our official summer training at school for the soccer team. I made it through the first week working out on my ankle but ended up getting an MRI because of the pain. I probably should have done that at the beginning of summer when the pain was persistent but lone behold my stubbornness prevails yet again. Long story short, I now am in a boot for at least a week and then will go for another check up to see if I can progressively work back into workouts. It could have been much worse news and I’m very thankful to know that nothing was torn or seriously injured. Although my situation is nothing compared to what other athletes have had to go through in terms of injury, it definitely has already been a way for the enemy to speak lies into my heart.
The Lord is good and sovereign. He has provided his word before this even happened to remind me of what is actually good and what is just made out to be good to distract me from Him. In Jeremiah 17:5-8, the Lord compares a man who trusts in flesh to a man who trusts in the Lord.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 “Cursed is the one who trusts in the man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes, its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought, and never fails to bear fruit.”
As I’ve meditated on this passage and tried to work it into memory, I’ve questioned a lot what I look like in times of heat and drought. Right now, as I’m not allowed to work out at all and have to wear a tremendously fashionable black boot around, what is my fruit? Is my fruit making all of the runs required in my workout? Is my fruit making the starting line up? What little things compared to eternity! What fleeting treasures that are gone in one instant! What do my leaves look like when they’re fully green? Is it full health? Well, I’m sure we can all relate to somehow seeing that health is fleeting- whether that’s in a loved one or ourselves. Is being at full strength when my leaves are green, or is it being full of the hope of the Lord? As I think about how I’ve reacted internally towards this injury, I realize that there are still parts of my heart that find treasure in the things of this world. I realize that there are parts of my soul that cling to my accomplishments as a resume for my fruit-bearing and leaf-greening record.
1 Peter 1:24-25 “For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word that was preached to you.”
Someone reading this is probably in a similar situation, where we’re feeling the heat or feel a season of drought. I pray that as we go through this season, no matter how long it may be, we would bring our hearts to the Lord every day asking if our fruit is a fleeting treasure or one that pleases him. I pray that our hearts would be rooted in the word of God so that we would not wither with the grass of the field and the glory of men. I pray that we would delight in this season, knowing that our strength and our growth is not determined by the environment we’re in, but by the strength of the Lord. In him we may boast, in all other things we are merely kidding ourselves. So I ask you, what kind of fruit do you bear? What do your green leaves look like?