I love basketball! I enjoy watching it and playing it. Over the last 8 years, I have consistently played noon ball with a group of men on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I had been fortunate to not have any injuries (I am a 41 year old playing with 20 and 30 year olds) until December 19, 2016.
We had just started the game and on the first play of the game, a guy from the other team threw a hard pass and I put up my hand to block the pass. Unfortunately, the basketball hit only the little finger on my left hand. I thought I had just jammed my finger. But deep down I knew something was wrong. I finished the games an hour later and headed home and immediately noticed a lot of swelling and bruising and yes, a lot of pain.
The following day I received the news that I did not want to hear: broken little finger.
Two weeks later I received more news that I was not excited about: possible surgery needed to fix the break.
Over the last few weeks as I have processed the events, I have been reminded about two key truths. These truths apply to me as a follower of Christ, a man, husband, father, and pastor. So, as I type slower than usual with my hand splint, I want to share them as a reminder to you today.
- I need God. When anxiety and fear crept into my mind about what I would be told at various doctor appointments, I needed to remember God is with me. No matter what I face, God will give me the strength to continue. When things were uncertain, I could be confident that God knows all and He has it under control. As Satan whispered lies, God through the Holy Spirit reminded me that God is for me, not against me. Most of all, the truth that Jesus is my Savior, my Rescuer, and my Healer has given me hope. Always remember that at the cross, Jesus defeated sin, death, Satan, and sickness. One of my favorite verses is 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that wemight die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” In Christ, we are healed of all our wounds: physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and spiritually.
- I need others. It is rather humbling when you need to ask others for help. Things you took for granted like washing your hands, taking a shower, opening a door, typing on your computer become challenges. I tried to do them alone, but quickly learned that I couldn’t do it. I am thankful for an amazing wife who I have relied on over the last few weeks. I have needed others to do things that I typically would have done on my own. It has been great to see friends and the body of Christ step up to help–many times without asking. I know there is going to be more and more of this as we get older, but we must lay down our pride and ask for help. We don’t realize how God can use someone else’s gifts for His glory to meet our needs. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
As you read this, I am on the road to recovery. So I leave you with this question: In what ways, do you need to admit your need for God and others today?
By J.L. Martin
Husband to Bethany
Dad of 1 boy, 3 girls
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Pastor of Children and Family at Hesston MB Church