(From Part 4: The Spirit of Truth)
Crud that hurt! Not the most flexible person in the world, my body complained as the physio bent parts of me into positions seen only in a circus.
I’d gone to see him due to back pain that wasn’t going away. As I walked into his room, he eyed me up and down and inquired, “How long have you been a runner?” I was impressed.
As he flexed my body he inquired, “How long since you stopped stretching?” I was depressed.
After more manipulating of my rigid physique, he decreed, “Well, you’re fortunate. Your knees are great. Your hips are okay. But your core is abysmal. I’m surprised you haven’t broken down sooner.”
Stretching exercises! I don’t like them. That’s why they were avoided. That, and the fact the only time I attended Pilates, the instructor laughed.
But stretching exercises is what I received. Firstly, to release the nerve that was causing the pain. Then to stretch the hamstrings and strengthen the glutes. Finally, more exercises to work on the ‘abysmal’ core. I detest them. The only time they’re fun is when the grandies stretch with me—or over me!
Amazingly, however, they’re working. I now run with a straighter posture, not slumped. I’m running stronger. Fatigue is lessened. Recovery is quicker. The fruit is there.
Looking back, I can now say I’m grateful for nerve pain that caused me to address something I’d neglected. I’m thankful I didn’t continue to just get by, with core issues unaddressed!
The Holy Spirit is good at that. Pain is sometimes the prompter for both a perspective and a positional change.
A perspective change, in that it causes us to evaluate our mindsets, attitudes, and actions in a new way. The Holy Spirit can use pain to show us where things are out of alignment, where we’ve drifted, where we’ve neglected certain areas. A common message in the letters from the Spirit to the seven churches in Revelation is that they had stopped doing the good things they once did. A bit like stretching!
A positional change, because everything relates back to our identity. Many times, pain is caused by stubbornness, the rigidity of a prideful attitude that seeks to go it alone, the obstinacy of someone who is not aware and can’t be told. When we find ourselves in this situation, we try and run through it, attempting to work our way out of that which only the Holy Spirit can rescue us from. Our position as Father’s dear ones is never in doubt; our awareness of that is.
Both the perspective and positional changes take place in the core, only this time it’s the heart, not the stomach.
Like a physio, the Holy Spirit will do whatever is necessary to return us to the wholeness Jesus has procured for us. As with a physio, it is vital we partner with him on it.
I can’t say I’ve loved stretching these past few months, but I love what it’s doing for me.
Likewise, I can’t say I’ve loved all the issues Holy Spirit has addressed, but I love what his truth is doing in me.