God spoke to me through my shoulder this morning. My right shoulder has been sore for years and connected with it is a stiff neck. Long car trips are rough and uninterrupted stinks in front of the computer are not so good either. After seeking help through my doctor a year ago, I finally broke down and went to a Physical Therapist. He noted that some musles on my shoulder blade are underdeveloped and so the muscles near the top overcompensate for them, ergo the stiff neck and sore shoulder.
The therapist also told me that this problem took years to develop and so it will take a long time to heal and some continual maintenance. Oh, and how does all of this relate to God??? It’s a lesson about sin.
Sin has a way of eating at us. It doesn’t consume us at once. It pecks away at a weak, tender point. We nurture it a bit and tolerate it. Harboring lust, anger, or lies can become a sort of hobby. Sin gives us pleasure, so we think, and we decide to keep it around. In fact, we can’t imagine life without it.
Given enough time and freedom from God’s Spirit, sin will throw us off track, causing unnecessary pain and keeping us from our full potential. And sometimes God will invade us, beat off the sin, and bring healing. In other cases, it’s a long-term process that requires maintenance.
The funny thing is that I’ve had a chiropractor, doctor, physcial therapist, and apostolic healer all examine the shoulder. All made a similar diagnosis. The apostle who diagnosed the shoulder problem had just healed a spinal curvature that made one foot longer than the other. Why didn’t God just do both while he was at it? I figured that he had a good reason for it. And now I know.
Just as my shoulder was not debilitating, it was slowly becoming a really big problem. Tolerated sin will do the same for us. It will rob us of joy and the day-to-day intimacy of living with Jesus. Keeping this sneaky form of sin away from us requires vigilence, discipline, and determination. God must supply these things, and if he doesn’t, we’ll fall off the program. The sin will take root again, remind us of its pleasures, and begin to eat away at us, throwing us out of joint and causing gradual pain.
The message from my shoulder: STOP SINNING!!! Sin can subtley tear you apart. Begin your Spiritual Therapy now.