Athlete, Pay Attention to the Symptoms


Athlete, Pay Attention to the Symptoms

Tom Petersburg

Lamentations 3:40,41 (NASB)

Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord. We lift up our heart and hands toward God in heaven.

My backache had progressed to severe leg pain, allowing me just a few minutes on my feet at a time. I gave in and called my doctor, but could only see one of his associates. Desperate for pain relief, I would meet with anyone. 

After hearing my symptoms, the doctor asked me to get on the exam table and proceeded to examine my ears, nose and throat, not my back. The doctor finally asked about the pain in my back and leg, wrote a pain prescription and sent me home. 

I was left with two concerns: The doctor did not pay attention to my symptoms, or treat the underlying problem. 

Symptoms tell us that something is not quite right, that we have a break in our normal function. It is just as important in our spiritual health as our physical health. If only it was as easy as the little red lights that appear on our car dashboard — the mechanic plugs his computer into a port under the dashboard and the problem pops onto his screen. 

Today’s verses were written by the prophet Jeremiah to a group of people who were in anguish over their conditions, but resistant to seeing the malfunction of their relationship with God. Jeremiah’s advice was to examine their ways and return to the Lord. 

Spiritual symptoms need attention, but we can fall into the error of one of two extremes. One, we can ignore the signs and plow ahead as if nothing is wrong. Two, we can become deeply introspective, incessantly turning over every nook and cranny of our lives in search of something out of place. 

Both extremes prevent the Holy Spirit from revealing things in our lives. In Psalm 139:23, David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” He understood the need to let God examine his life, revealing the things that might hinder their relationship.  

Take a look at Psalm 139 to see how well God knows us.

Tom Petersburg  |


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