A family member of mine has been experiencing back problems recently. This person has been in intense pain and discomfort for a couple of weeks now. As if that weren’t enough, they have been unable to go about their daily routine as they normally would. That is a big challenge, as this family member prefers to stay active, busy, and productive. Thinking about all of this led me to wonder what God might want this person to learn during this ordeal. It is my belief that our Creator never allows us to be in a situation that we cannot learn from or in which we can’t do something for someone else. A chance to learn or help someone, in my opinion, is a blessing. Therefore I am going to talk about ways I think God might be blessing people through injuries.
As our all-powerful creator, God can work His will in any situation. The featured image for this article is that of a broken collar-bone. This injury is very painful and leaves the individual without the use of that arm. Most people would view this more as a curse than a blessing. The person is likely unable to perform the majority of the tasks they did before the injury. Folding clothes, cleaning, cooking, typing, driving, sports, work, etc. just got a lot more difficult. But perhaps while the person is having to take time off from their usual occupations they will find a new, more rewarding hobby or activity. A couple of years ago I had some trouble with my lower back and was forced to do a lot of lying around. I wasn’t able to engage in my woodworking hobby for a few weeks. Since I was deprived of what I would usually do I decided to pick up a book and do some reading. This would become one of my new, more prevalent hobbies, continuing even today. Reading has been an interest of mine for most of my life, but before my lower back problem I had been in a long non-reading slump. I am grateful that my injury gave me the opportunity to rediscover the joy of reading.
Being injured typically means a trip to a doctor of some kind, and that involves a waiting room, which usually involves other people. While sitting there waiting to see your doctor, you just might strike up a conversation with a stranger. It could be a pleasant, unpleasant, neutral, edifying, or entertaining experience. It also just might be the beginning of a new relationship. I am not the most social of people, I typically wish to simply go about my business and get on with my day. However, even I know the benefit of having other people in my life as well as being a person in the lives of others. We are all important pieces in the lives of other people, whether we, or they, know it or not. Just think about what you do when something good or bad happens to you. Do you never mention it to anyone or do you tell someone about it, expecting congratulations or support? The fact we seek out interactions with other people shows us how important they are in our lives. People are everywhere and you never know where you might meet your next friend.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned is that of patience or empathy. Being kept from your usual activities by an injury is not fun, but it is even worse if you aren’t a patient person. Trying to return from an injury too soon can result in more pain and an even worse affliction. Worse yet, impatience is not Godly. Romans 12:12 states, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Therefore, if you aren’t typically a patient person, then maybe God allowed the injury to happen so that you may learn the virtue patience. When you have gone through something difficult you are oftentimes better able to identify with another person going through the same thing. Your own experience helped to make you more sensitive to the plight of others. This is empathy, and it is an important emotion for all of us to comprehend and pursue. Unfortunately, our busy, me-centric lives make it easy to brush aside what other people are going through. This has resulted in an overall decline in empathy within our American culture. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at our news cycles and social media accounts. You will find lots of sarcasm, snark, jealousy, disregard, anger, hate, and fear. However, you won’t find much empathy. So if you have trouble relating to the feelings of others, perhaps God allowed your injury because He wants you to learn how to empathize. So take a careful and honest look at yourself and decide whether or not you have a lesson to learn from your injury and subsequent recovery period. I listed patience and empathy simply because they stand out in my mind, but perhaps you have a different virtue to learn, such as humility or integrity.
Having our injuries healed is also a blessing, I know, this is quite obvious. However, it isn’t just a blessing because we are now back to 100%, but because we are also given a prime opportunity to give God our thanks and to praise Him. In the Bible, James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” We are told to sing God’s praises when we are cheerful, and I think we would all be pretty full of cheer when we heal after an injury. If we do what God wishes us to do, such as follow the Bible’s instruction, we will bring blessings upon ourselves when we praise God and give Him the glory.
I know this list is far from comprehensive, but the intention behind it is to get a conversation going. Therefore, please feel free to leave a comment sharing something you might include in this list. You can also share any criticisms you might have. I read all comments and respond to them as well. Perhaps your input will make a difference in how I think and grow. I wish you all the best, thank you for reading.