I Corinthians 9:27

I Corinthians 9:27

Today Claire had to get Botox shots in the calf and hamstring muscles of her left leg. Mom tells her she is just like all the pretty girls in Hollywood! Of course, Claire’s Botox is not cosemetic, but the concept is the same. Botox is injected into muscles to weaken them, keep them from contracting. In middle-aged men and women, Botox keeps you from developing wrinkles (and any form of facial expression). In little girls with CP, Botox weakens muscles that are too strong in hopes that the weaker surrounding muscles will have a chance to catch up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In our minds, it is worth a try.

All of this has me thinking about virtue. (Hang on, you’ll get there too.) Early this year I posted about training our spiritual muscles in the same way we train our physical muscles. This is what ancient Christians might have called “practicing the disciplines” and it isn’t a very glamorous part of the Christian life. It is all about hard work and determination and a big dose of grace. But when we work at it to the same degree that we work with Him, we start to see changes – improvements in our character and attitude. John Ortberg describes the spiritually disciplined person as the one who does the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, to the right degree. (Just think about that for awhile …. )

So, what do you think are the too-strong muscles keeping us from becoming the spiritually disciplined people we want to be? How could we Botox the selfish muscle, the jealous muscle? Claire knew those big shots were coming at her tiny legs and still smiled at me until the first big stick. Could we face the mortification of our own flesh as bravely? Tonight at the dinner table Claire said she was thankful for “Dr. Farid and the shots he gave me because they are going to make me strong.” She meant it.


10 Replies to “I Corinthians 9:27”

  1. That girl! She’s just an inspiration-a-minute, isn’t she? And, no, I cannot face the mortification of my own flesh so bravely – not physical mortification nor spiritual. The only perk to the spiritual mortification is we don’t often see it coming.

  2. I can’t think about this experience without adding the sacrifice it took on the part of Claire’s parents. It is one thing to mortify our own flesh. It is another matter to watch our children go through the process and choose not to intervene. (Or to actually hold them still for it.) I think we too often reach in and try to rescue when God is wanting to strengthen through trial.

  3. Logan gets Botox too. It is a dreaded day at our house. But, like Claire, Logan wears a smile inspite of his circumstances. My husband says “He is the happiest little boy, with a million reasons to be ticked off!” God has given them this as a gift, I’m certain of that. I know what a tough day it is for you too. I am convinced that God is in that room with us each time because I know that it is out of my own strength to be able to hold him down for all those needles. I am sure you felt Him too.
    I would love to visit with you sometime and would love for Logan and Claire to have the opportunity to meet. You can reach me at [email protected], if you ever want to.

  4. oh, those botox shots… several years ago our son alec had them in both legs, (he also has CP) but in his case his leg bones were growing crooked because of all the tension his muscles were putting on them (bones grow first, muscles second). oh that was a hard day. he hated that!! but he was brave, and it really helped. he just turned 18 this month, hard to believe, and we’re talking about: college, or a year serving with a ministry organization first? i’ve always thought that God has used his challenges to create a very tender heart in him, so how can we not be thankful?

  5. Can I just tell you all how much I love the Internet!?

    Thanks, zanne! Your comments are so encouraging! I was just in an IEP meeting yesterday thinking, wow, doing this once a year for the next 12 years could be exhausting! But you are right – how can we not be thankful for all the good that has come out of difficult situations. Give that big guy a hug for me!

  6. i will! and here’s a fun thing for you to anticipate. at a certain point they get old enough to PARTICIPATE in their IEPs. they learn to point out misconceptions on the part of the different service providers, and even ask for or refine their own accommodations. now that is fun and rewarding!

    blessings to you all!

  7. Children seem to be so resilient. So able to rise to the challenge when faced with life circumstances that would bring us adults to our knees (and not only in prayer).

    I know we are to train up our children but gosh, I think we could learn a few things from them.

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