You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are punished by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He punishes every son whom He accepts.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is impaired may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

Hebrews 12:13-14

The body can be healed by injury; this fact is somewhat unintuitive, but makes sense for those who have undergone physical training of any kind. Muscles must be torn in small ways to build new muscle, bones are re-knit after use to be even stronger and calluses build up on hands that see a lot of work.

The Great Physician, in treating our spiritual weakness, does not protect us from injury but he gives us healing for growth. In this way, we share the experiences of all people, sadness, pain and joy alike, but we have the hope of salvation to guide and protect us after the fact. The physical therapy of the spirit is the process of healing those hurts that make it through the protective armor of faith.

It’s time for training. Make sure your gear is set, but beyond that, be ready to heal up and take the guidance of the trainer so that we might share in His holiness.

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published November 26, 2021