Injury and Healing

2 Chronicles 16: 12b Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians. 

One of the realities of the life of an athlete is injuries and this often begins at a very young age.  Stopsportsinjuries.org reports that in the United States “high school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year”. And this continues as athletes get older.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professional athletes were among five occupations that had more than 1,000 injuries per 10,000 workers. Athletes and sports competitors suffer more than 2,000 injuries per 10,000 workers.

Christian athletes are not immune to injuries.  God doesn’t choose to wrap them in a special bubble wrapping, some sort of unfair advantage over their competitors.  Injuries and sickness are an unfortunate reality for all athletes.  The key question, however, is how do you deal with your injuries and sickness as a believer?

The story of King Asa, found in 2 Chronicles 14-16 is an interesting one for me.  His reign seemed to start well as we read that “Asa did what was good in the eyes of the Lord his God” (2 Chron 14:2).  When the Cushite army threatened his people he cried out to the Lord beseeching Him:  “Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you…” (2 Chron 14:11b) and God answered Asa’s prayers striking down his foes.

But something seemed to go awry in Asa’s life.  In chapters 15 and 16 we read that God sent prophets to Asa to try to convict him of his sin, but it appeared that his heart had grown increasingly cold in his later years.  This is the context of today’s key verse:  Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians. (2 Chron 16:12b).  This scripture does not seem to chastise Asa for seeking help from the physicians but rather that he did not seek help from the Lord.  God had come through for Asa and all the people of Judah when Asa had turned to God, so why did he now fail to turn to God in his sickness?

My personal conviction is that God can allow sickness and injury into our lives and use that for his greater good.  This can include being a witness to others in our suffering, it can be helpful to increase our perseverance, or it can even be used to change the direction of our lives to follow His will for us.  However, I also believe in an all-powerful God who can heal, has healed and does still miraculously heal today.  After all, it is God who first miraculously created us so who better to turn to in our sickness and injury.  Why would we not first ask God for healing?

God can and does use physicians for our healing, but we should never make the mistake that Asa made, which was only turning to doctors for help.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  (Phil 4:6)  Pray with faith; you serve a powerful Saviour.

4 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    This devotional on injuries, and healing is a blessing. My son who is at the end of his junior high school season of baseball. He is a verbal commit to U of Arizona. He is a very good athlete and God has blessed him with a very special arm. But he has been experiencing arm injuries the past year. The beautiful thing about this is he is developing a relationship with God thru this time. But I am concerned that such a young person who has dreams (and works very hard with wisdome and undersranding) that the number if set backs he experiences that his spirit would be crushed at some point. His mother and I pray for him, over him, and encourage him. We have sought healing prayer thru church leaders, and doctors for healing.
    Would you pray for Sean. He is a special young man, and thank you for your devotionals and shared wisdome.
    Mike

    1. Roland Mechler says:

      Mike, thanks so much for sharing. I will absolutely pray for Sean. Oh, I so understand how you must be feeling as a parent, and how he must be feeling as a young athlete. Just two years ago I sat on the infield with my son in California after he had qualified for the biggest decathlon of his high school career, flying from Canada to make an impression on colleges, but after just one event he had to pull out due to a recurring injury. My heart broke and I asked God why. The answer may be different for each athlete. For some it might be “I have a different plan for you”, for others it might be “I want to teach you perseverance” (for my son it appears now that it was more of the latter as he is blessed to be going to UofHouston this fall). In either case, however, I believe God wants each of these young athletes (and us as parents) to come to the place where we hand it all over to God. I’ve learned that God wants all of us to have an open hand with what God gives us, always being willing to have Him take whatever He desires. Like Abraham was willing to give up Isaac, we need to be willing to give up what appears to be most precious to us, so that God truly becomes first in our lives. This is a hard lesson and solid food (Hebrews 5:14) and one which I and our whole family continue to work through. Mike I will pray for you, your wife and Sean that God’s will would be done with Sean and that God would be glorified through the life of your family. Blessings brother!

  2. […] shape of my life to being sidelined for months. But God does. The longer it’s taking to heal, the more I question what God is doing with my life but, I kid you not, I have never felt His […]

  3. FOSTER says:

    Prayed for Sean.
    Fully understand ur anxiety as an athletes parent.
    May God be with YOU.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Diary of an injured athlete: part 1 – Play by Play Faith - October 12, 2016

    […] shape of my life to being sidelined for months. But God does. The longer it’s taking to heal, the more I question what God is doing with my life but, I kid you not, I have never felt His […]

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