“The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?” Proverbs 18:14 NLT
Purpose against pain. I am not speaking about the purpose of pain, but of purpose against pain. There are a few good resources that describe the purpose of pain. Paul Tripp‘s blood on Suffering is one of them. It is a masterful work that I highly recommend. But I am speaking of purpose against pain. “The human spirit can endure a sick body.” Purpose helps us to endure sickness or pain.
I really enjoy running. My favorite distance is the half marathon. 13.1 miles. I have run that distance many times, including about a dozen races. There is certain level of discomfort and pain that come with running that far both in the training, but especially on race day. I can feel the fatigue and soreness setting in during those late miles. But my purpose of finishing the race well help me to endure the pain in my body. Purpose against pain.
I have also run one marathon. One. 26.2 miles. Once. I know others have run farther, but for me, it was really far. For the first 20 miles or so, I was able to run with a great sense of determination. For another 4 miles with a sense of purpose and just at about mile 24, I was really, really, ready to be done. My own sense of purpose against the pain was no longer enough to motivate me to continue. But then? Others that I did not even know, were on the sidelines cheering me on and encouraging me to push through, to finish strong. Their only purpose was encouragement, and that encouragement was enough to have me find purpose against the pain and to finish the race. Purpose against pain. But the purpose of another.
“The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit.” Sometimes we are able to find our own purpose and fight successfully against the pain, but sometimes our spirits can get crushed, and we want to quit. It is then when we need to have and be those people who are encouragers to lift spirits. A man who has adopted this as his life’s purpose is John O’Leary. I highly recommend his book “On Fire”, it will lift your spirits and help you find purpose against pain.
Life itself is a marathon, this week be purposeful and encourage someone to continue on and find purpose against pain.
In His Hands,