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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Unprotected Places

It’s barely August but football season is well underway here in Texas. My boys just finished the first week of practice in full pads.
Hunter is learning that big boys hit harder than little boys and wearing shoulder pads and a helmet makes everything just a bit more awkward. Catching is suddenly harder because the helmet blocks his vision. Throwing harder because his shoulder doesn’t have its full range of motion under bulky pads. Running is slower because pads and cleats are heavy. And tackling and blocking, well they’re just downright painful.
He spoke wise words to me after his first padded practice. He said, “Mom, every time I get hit it hurts. These pads don’t cover my gut and that’s right where the guy’s helmet goes every time. I mean, it doesn’t hurt very long. It goes away fast but it sure makes it hard to get back up.”
Isn’t that how the enemy usually gets us? He hits us right in the gut. Our unprotected places. We blow up over wet towels on the bathroom floor. We complain about yesterday’s dirty dishes in the sink or the stale bag of chips left open on the table. We get busy and forget to fill up the car with gas. We lose our car keys and forget to pay the water bill.
Little things. Things that knock the wind out of us as they slam into our guts. Things that don’t keep us down long. Little failures that point out our weakness. Tiny sins that keep us separated from God in our prideful humanness. Oh, we don’t stay down too long but we are certainly hesitant to get back up. Those little annoyances hurt making it difficult to get back on the line ready for the next hit.
Ephesians 6:13 says:
That is why you need to put on God's full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.
We aren’t promised an easy battle or a fight without being knocked to the ground. If we fight fully armed learning to use the weapons God has given us, we are promised to be left standing when the fight is over. 
The punches hurt but we can get used to them, prepare ourselves for them, learn to block them. Hunter’s coach has told him all these things. His favorite coaching line when helping boys up from the pile and slapping them on the helmet is this, “You’re still alive; get back up!” 
As the boys get used to the punches and survive the hits, they learn to love the game. They look forward to football because when they’ve become comfortable instead of awkward in their pads, they are left standing at the end of the game. Standing dirty and beat up but so, so proud.
I don’t know what your unprotected places look like. Mounds of laundry and a sick toddler? A sharp word with your husband before he headed out the door early this morning? The constant bickering the end of summer brings to your kids? The list of red numbers in your checkbook as you buy the never ending list of back to school items? Terrible morning sickness for the last eight months?
Wherever you're at in this battle, girlfriend, would you join me in taking a lesson from football today? 

Being knocked to the ground stinks but it won't kill you. Get back up; when the fight is over you will still be standing. Tweet this now


And if you leave me a comment explaining your own unprotected place, I promise to pray for you today.


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6 comments:

Lelia Chealey said...

Very good analogy Lisa! You have proved to live this out in your own life. So blessed to be real life friends/sisters. Keep. Writing!

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Mercy me!! There's some wisdom here, I tell you. Thanks for a great post.

Melanie Dorsey said...

So good and true, Lisa.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog it's taking my breath away My unprotected place - fear I'm not providing for my family physically spiritually - fear I'm screwing up as a wife mother daughter child of god

Lisa Smith said...

Hi anonymous.
I know just how you feel! God gave you the family you can love and lead like nobody else. I pray He guides you as you recognize the giftings and potential He's given you.

Lisa Smith said...

As another football season gets underway in Texas, I'm praying for you Anonymous. ��❤️