Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Taking punches

Yesterday, I was watching Million Dollar Baby. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite movies. I can go on and on about how great this movie was; from the controversy surrounding euthanasia to the struggles that we have to endure to pursue our dreams. But, I'll save all that for another day. This movie blessed me in another significant way...

The opening scene of the movie really struck a chord with me. In this scene, Clint Eastwood's character, a legendary cut man and long-time boxing manager, shows his true skills in dealing with his fighters' wounds. During one point of the fight, one of his boxers had a cut that was so deep that the referee threatened to stop the fight. Eastwood advises his man to take a punch, allowing the oppenents punches to close the wound. Eastwood didn't have to raise another finger.

You may be asking me what's so interesting about this? Well, read on...

You see, I think that God works in the same way. I think that sometimes He tells us to take the punches that come with life in order for our wounds to heal.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we can't always spend our time waiting around expecting for God to fix our problems. We have to be willing to do things, sometimes uncomfortable, to resolve our issues. This includes taking punches to the most hurtful and wounded places in our lives.

Lately, I've been dealing with a hurt that I can't even begin to describe. Don't worry: I'm not depressed about my ordeal, especially not to the point where I'm deranged, suicidal or anything crazy like that. But I will admit that a huge hole has opened up in my life, exposing my vulnerability. I've been continuously going to God in prayer about this, but seemingly to no avail. Often times, it seems like God is turning a deaf ear to me. The more I pray, the more the 'situation' pops up in my face. Maybe... just maybe...God is telling me to take this punch to face so that my wounds can heal.

Perhaps the biggest question for me is whether or not I'm willing to accept His advice. I can imagine that the fighter thought that Eastwood was crazy for suggesting that he take a vicious shot to face. Not only did he stand to sustain even more bleeding, he could have been put in a position where he would have never fully recovered from the wound. The damage to his face could have been permanent. Nevertheless, the fighter placed his trust and...well...his face in the hands of his manager. The results were better than anyone could have ever imagined.

Do you have the courage to follow God's advice by taking a hit, or are you too concerned about the possibility for long-term damage?

My new prayer involves me asking God for the courage I will need to do whatever I must to experience His gift of healing. Most important, I must be ready to accept whatever He says, even if I have to take a beating for it.

- ACL

10 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

joanne said...

Wow! I couldn't agree more.

There have been times where bad things have happened to me which eventually made me stronger.

I hope you never stop writing, Andre. God speaks through you to me so often. You really touched me!

lorna said...

Beautiful post.

It made me look at God in a completely different way. Thank you for providing me a new insight on God!

layla said...

I agree with everyone in here. Your words are so powerful and inspiring.

I'm thankful that the Lord put this on your heart for you to share with me. I really needed this today.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Honestly, this is something I've been working on for years. Reshaping my prayer life.

Another problem of mine is that I'm not very patient when it comes to waiting on God. I'm also working on that.

Andre said...

Thank you all for your terrific comments.

@ Joanne: It's good to see that we're back together again! Don't get me wrong: there's nothing like a little friendly debate, but it's always good to stimulate someone's mind in other ways than through controversy. Thanks for blessing me.

@ lorna: I think that God is inexhaustible. There are always different ways to look at God. I'm glad that we're able to see Him in all new ways.

@ layla: You've REALLY touched me. I'm glad that I was able to help you!

@ anonymous: Be careful. Patience can be a both a good thing and a bad thing. It can be great if you rest your faith in God. It can be bad if that's ALL you're doing. As I've said before, sometimes God expects for us to stop waiting on Him and to get involved ourselves. As you make decisions on things you should REALLY try to investigate what God is trying to tell you.

Thanks again to all of you!

michelle said...

Very beautiful words. Someone once said, "the hurt we gain helps us to lose the hurt that we don't want." Sadly, people are afraid to gain hurt.

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY love your blog. You're such a wonderful writer!

tirrium said...

I agree with you to a point. If what you're saying was entirely true, then Jesus wouldn't had to die for us. We could have did some sonmething to fix our own sins. God recognized that we needed Him so He sent Jesus.

So, we actually DO need God to send us help.

Diane said...

Andre,
Lookin' good!! Nice to put a face with the name.

As far as your post......I wanted to think on it before I commented.

Broken bones hurt when the injury occurs, and again when they have to be set. Pain, then more pain to make it right again. A seed has to die for the plant to sprout, to make more seeds. And so the cycle continues. Our Christian lives can be likened to these things. Jesus said we have to die every day to self. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't particularly like judging myself so I won't have to be judged, and denying myself to do God's will. My "self" is selfish, wanting everything my way, whether it's good for me or for whether God is glorified by it or not. My carnal self doesn't like it at all, but the Holy Spirit who lives within me knows it is necessary, and right.

Living a Christ-like life is often very painful, but like a child having to touch the hot thing they've been warned about, we have to find out for ourselves not to touch the "unclean" thing, whatever that might be at the time.

Physical pain often accompanies healing. It hurts for a broken bone to mend. Likewise, it hurts for a spiritual injury to heal. Pain for a season, in return for a greater healing.

This, too, shall pass, Andre. Joy
DOES come in the morning. Just wait on the Lord, and be patient.

Hope this helps, maybe just a little, friend. I am praying for you. :)

natasha said...

I was reading this post and I almost cried. This was such a touching and heartfelt post.You really have a gift for touching others through words.

Also (and I apologize if I'm coming off the wrong way), but you're cute! You've got THE MOST adorable eyes ever...

*blushing*

Andre said...

@ Diane: Once again, you've blessed me with your insight!

I think that following Christ is a pretty costly thing for us to do. We have to break apart from our old ways, "die" everyday, and, as I was trying to point out in my post, allow for Jesus' methods of doing things to take over our lives. It's hard to give Jesus governance when it seems like his methods of healing are even more painful than the hurt itself.

But, it all comes with accepting Him.

Thank you for blessing me!

@ natasha: I'm truly grateful for your kind words. You bless me just as much with your comments (especially the "cute" reference). You had a brotha blushing for sec...