Thursday, March 11, 2010

Miracle?

Many definitions of "miracle" probably come to mind depending on who you are and your belief...or non-belief in them is probably even more pronounced. Let me throw out Dictionary.com's definition: 1) an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.2) such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God. 3) a wonder; marvel.

I don't often talk "religion" on my blog. I don't throw my beliefs at you and condemn you if you don't believe. However, if you know me or can read into the title of this blog even a bit (it's very similar to a verse in the Book of Hebrews), hopefully you've picked up that I consider myself to be a Christian. I was raised in a traditional Baptist church but today, don't really subscribe to any particular "religion" like Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. Call it Christianity, if you wish, if you must put a label on it. Since the age of 5, actually. I've gone through peaks and valleys throughout my life when it comes to my Christianity...some very lows and some great highs. I am a never-ending work-in-progress and will never be perfect or know anywhere remotely close to everything. However, I do seek to know Him more everyday and I do believe completely that He guides my every step and decision. It is through His guidance that I lead our home, am a husband, a parent, a service member to this great country, and walk my daily walk. It's really as simple as that...He's always there...we talk quite a bit, and he sometimes gives me the answers I want, and sometimes not. He always answers, though.

That's the point of my post today. Let's back-track and review a bit first. Last September, I am quite certain that on Labor Day, I pulled my left adductor muscle while racing a 5-miler that I shouldn't have been racing. I was only 4-weeks post my 2nd 100-mile finish. I pretty much ignored that little "twinge" I felt and proceeded to run the YUT-C 50K, Akron Marathon, Oil Creek 100-Miler, and Bobcat Trail Marathon...all, while an injury quietly grew. Well, it wasn't so silent at Oil Creek where it nearly finished me at Mile 20. Anyway, the point is that I ignored it. Lots of scar tissue built up...so much so that by the time I got to my physical therapist, I practically had railroad tracks of scar tissue right on top of that muscle. After 3 x-rays (confirming no bone problems), and 3 sessions of the Graston Technique (imagine metal objects ripping the scar tissue apart from outside the body...ouch), I had little signs of recovery. I'd feel good during an easy run...then by evening, I'd be in pain. Delayed pain...interesting. Or, I'd run in the morning before work and feel fine then limp out of my chair at work all day. Frustrated by the end of the road that I apparently found, I shut it down. I didn't even run 100 miles in the whole month of February. I rested...a lot..even gained 5 or 7 pounds. Rest....rest....rest. Still, through a week ago, nothing felt better. It STILL hurt. DANGIT!!! "I've tried everything and I'm still sitting here...hurting!" ARGH!!!!

OK, back to my initial thoughts: being raised as a Christian, I've prayed throughout my life. I pray daily, in fact. For me, it doesn't come in the form of knee-bent prayer but more of an ongoing conversation between Him and I. From the initial onset of my injury to the wreck that I became at Mile 20 of the OC100 to the point in December when I cracked and sought medical help...I never once...not once did I pray specifically for healing of my injury. I believe in my core that He can and does heal. I came to the very end of help...when there was nowhere else to turn...I finally prayed specifically: "Lord, please just heal it. Just heal it miraculously." I prayed that about a week ago and a few times since. I then flew to Athens, GA and ran an easy 10 miles on Monday...mostly on concrete. I felt nothing. Even more telling is that I felt nothing Monday evening and most telling, nothing when I awoke on Tuesday. I always felt it most when I awoke before I even got out of bed. Then Tuesday, I ran another 2 hours on the trails, jumping side to side and slipping a fair bit, and same results. That was more of a test than you know. The adductor muscle controls side-to-side motion and that run "should" have shot flames of pain through that muscle and I should have been in pain Tuesday night and limping yesterday. Again...nothing. In fact, I felt like heading out for more yesterday...but I didn't. No need to push it too much...too fast.

I am a big believer in this: the Lord will cause you/I/us to fall flat on our face, if necessary, to get our attention. He will take us to where there is nowhere else to turn to cause the "light" to turn on and wake up and turn to Him. It's typically not going to be a pleasant experience when He has to do it but it's necessary in His fathering process. I'm thankful for these life-lessons and what I'll take away from them. They are priceless.

So what do you think? There is no rational explanation. One week ago, it showed no signs of recovery. It hurt after 3 days of complete rest. Now...nothing. Miracle? God-ordained? Prayer answered. Thoughts for you to ponder and perhaps discuss. For me...Yes....Yes....and Yes.

MMT, are you listening? 65 days by my calculation.

3 comments:

Hannah J said...

No question you were taught an awesome lesson through this. My husband and I have been learning so much lately about leaning on God's timing and not turning everywhere else for help. We also have been learning about letting other people know what's going on so that God can be glorified when He does perform that miracle. . .thank you for sharing this story!

Dale said...

Yes, yes, and yes! Praise Him for the gift! God must have great things in store for you Nick. It is so amazing when we touch the hem of His robe and experience His healing power first hand. I can hardly wait to cross the finish line at Cincinatti in 7 weeks and praise Him for the miracle of healing in my own life. To Him be the glory!

Wim said...

Nick, thanks for sharing your miracle. Interesting how this works. I have a somewhat similar experience where I got injured and first tried everything under the sun before I turned to prayer, which should have been the first thing to do. But when we finally get it, God is there waiting for us. Praise Him for His patience and for His healing power.