Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bracing Myself

I haven't done much blogging lately. To be honest, I haven't given it much thought. I have been doing a lot of other things (some beneficial and some not). My most recent endeavors include trying to get as strong as possible and build endurance to do the Chicagoland Tough Mudder in May 2015. I am less than 90 days away from the event now, and thought I was doing pretty well getting ready for it, when my back started to hurt again; worse than before, and more then usual. I finally saw the doctor a few days ago, and she thinks I may have a compression fracture. I have had sharp pain in my mid-back since just after Christmas. Pain, that although I tried to ignore, made itself known in such a way it had to be dealt with, and soon!

I was given a back brace to wear to give me some additional support. This brace fits VERY snug and isn't so comfortable. It is a corset style brace, and when you lace it up, it holds everything in tightly. I am supposed to wear it when I am out and about and being active. After church, I couldn't wait to get to the comfort of my own home to undo the straps and velcro and relieve the pressure. AHHHHH! What relief to get out of that thing!

At 6 am this morning, I was laying in an MRI machine. I laid there thinking about how the machine spins the magnets around and makes it possible to see every detail inside my spine. The noisy *thunk* *thunk* *thunk* as the magnets move and create images, slice by slice, of our body. The MRI makes it possible for the doctor to see all the bones, and nerves and various other parts clearly, even though normally those items are hidden by skin.

All of this got me thinking about our lives. Have you ever tried to "hold it all together" while you are out and about, only to come home and let the real you come out? Once you are in the comfort of your own home, do you think as much about what you say and how you say it? Are you aware of your witness for God with your own family as much as while you are out in public? Are you concerned about what your family sees and thinks of you, or just the people at church? Sometimes, I think, it is easy to "cinch up" all our struggles and head out to church or the store and make it seem like everything is okay, only to walk through our front door and blow up at our children or spouse over a small issue.

Similarly, like the MRI lays bare our insides to all who view the images, we cannot keep hidden our sins from God. He knows our struggles and shortcomings. He knows where we fall short and need correction. Our corset cannot keep our sins in a neatly tied-up package, hidden away from viewing, from the one true and living God. No matter how hard we try to keep things hidden from others, we know that God is examining our hearts, slice by slice, and He knows all.

We feel the "pain" of sin, it makes itself known, just like my back injury did. It doesn't go away on its own, but needs to be acknowledged and treated. Ask God to show you the MRI of your heart today. Look to see all the areas where there is sin in your life. Submit yourself onto Him, humble yourself, and turn to Him in repentance. Forgiveness is found in Jesus Christ alone.

No need to hold back. Release that corset and say "AHHHHH!" as you enjoy the sweet fellowship with Him as He forgives your sins and heals you.

So, as I wait to hear the results of my MRI, and what those results will mean for my future Tough Mudder event, I will be praying that God will reveal to me the images of my own sinful heart, and I will be clinging to my only hope and salvation, Jesus Christ.

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