Sunday, February 20, 2011

Grin and Bear it?

Grin and bear it. I heard that more than a few times as a boy. It is right up there with "rub some dirt on it". These are well-intentioned but inadequate pieces of counsel when someone is hurting. Over the last few weeks I've been dealing with nagging soreness in my shoulder. It is the product of poor conditioning and rough-housing with my son. We wrestle and he likes me to pick him up and play "superman" among other things. Of course he is 27 pounds and that can take it's toll on a sore shoulder. Unfortunately there's not much I can do except rub some "Icy-Hot" on it, take a vicodin, and try to limit our wrestling matches. It will eventually get better.

There are some things you just have to "grin and bear". There are some things you just have to endure. The folk adage is "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" but Scripture has a more profound word for this kind of endurance. Paul was struggling with a "thorn in the flesh". He is vague about this thorn probably to widen the application. Was it an internal struggle like pride? Was it an external struggle like pain from all those beatings he endured? His response holds application for all such struggles (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 ESV), "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But HE said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"

Are you struggling with hurt, with pain, or with despair? There are some struggles the Lord removes (James 5:13-15) but there are others that must simply be endured until they are complete so that the Lord's power might be perfected in us. Grin and bear it isn't adequate counsel but James 1:2-4 is, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Now my son is up from his nap so its time to get off the computer and test that shoulder...wrestling time!

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