Sunday, February 5, 2012

SUPERBOWL SUNDAY...are you on the injured list?

Like many people I watched the annual Superbowl game. Even if your "team" didn't make it this far, you or someone in your house probably tuned in to see who would walk away with the Superbowl ring and trophy.

So much has happened for both of these teams in order to have made it this far. Much practice, a winning season and much endurance. You have to have alot of strength and endurance in order to be a good football team. But even with such things, no doubt along the way, each team has experienced some injuries. It would really stink to play all season and then right before the BIG game, become injured and be placed on the injury list. As disappointing as that would be, the truth is, injuries still happen. And when they do, all you can do is take the bench and allow time for the wounds to heal and then get back in the game.

Sitting on the bench does not make you any less part of the team.

Injury may keep a player out of the game for a period of time, but continuing with the strengthening and conditioning exercises is very important. Eventually the wounds will heal and the injured player will be moved from the "injury roster" to the "active roster". You see, the players were only hurt, they were not disconnected. They were still on the team and still just as important as before.

In my own life, I have come to realize that being a Christian is not much different than being a injured player on the team. Recently during a church service, the pastor asked the congregation to raise their hand if they had ever been hurt by someone at church. Hurt by a pastor, a deacon, a Sunday school teacher or another member and to my astonishment the result was almost 100% of hands raised, including the pastors hand. It resounded the fact to me that people will hurt us and we will hurt people. I guess you could say it is part of the game.
  • But how do we recover from such injuries? 
  • Do we sit on the bench? and for how long?
  • Does it mean we are no longer part of the team?
To find the answer to this, I found myself drawn to the story of Hannah in the Bible:

1 Now there was a certain man…and his name was Elkanah…2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh...4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb. 6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.” (1 Samuel 1:1-7)

Hannah was persecuted by those that should have loved her and helped her. The one who should have encouraged her, instead falsely accused her and judged her. To make things worse for Hannah, all of this happened while she was trying to serve God. The words in verse 7 jumped off of the page to me ...

"therefore she wept and did not eat."

Hannah was injured. She was sitting on the bench. Instead of getting stronger, she got weak. I know this because anyone who does not "eat" will slowly become weak and they will lose their strength. Physical weakness not only comes from a lack of eating but so does spiritual weakness. We must have some protein (meat) in our diet in order to get strong. Without it, we may never recover from our injuries.

Unfortunately, once we get put on the injury list, we no longer remain part of the team. Part of that is because we cannot get past our hurt and we don't want to be part of the team any longer and another part is that the rest of the team looks over at us sitting on the bench and decides that they have no use for us. Either way, the concept of being a "team" is forgotten.

Anyone who has or will serve our great country in the armed services understands about the team mentality.

 "Never leave a fallen soldier behind."

In churches all over, we have some soldiers that are injured and sitting on the bench. It is imperative for the team, that we all recognize that being injured is part of the game, but it is only temporary. Strengthening and conditioning our hearts and spirits will not only put us back in the huddle with our teammates but it will put us back in the game.

Stay strong my friend, and get back in the game...your team needs you!

1 comment:

Denise said...

Let me add a hearty amen.