by Macy Johnson
“My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.”
(Psalm 73:26 NIV)
I chatted with a friend after playing Bridge one afternoon. She told me her daughter had visited and helped with chores around her house. Thankful for the encouragement after her accident, my friend graciously was able to back away from opportunities to physically move and stay active. Unfortunately, as a result, she was stove-up. The dear friend standing before me struggled to move, even to take simple steps.
After my son’s surgery a nurse he fondly named Nurse Cratchit, appeared at his bedside early every morning. “Get up! Get moving!” she would command. He quickly discovered how important it was to keep his body moving, especially after surgery.
My mother used that phrase often when her arthritis kicked in or she had spent too many hours bent over working in her yard. She lived in constant pain of one type or another. I didn’t understand back then, but can empathize a little more now in my later years.
The definition of the phrase stove-up according to Merriam-Webster is “suffering physical discomfort caused by injury, illness, exercise, or overwork.” The present tense of stove is stave. To stave a wooden boat is to smash a hole in its side.
How does this principle apply to our spiritual health? I can recall times when my faith received a knife in the back resulting in doubt. I was spiritually stove-up, frozen, knocked down, and left to wallow in the muck and mire of caring what people thought. I must look to the Holy Spirit to lead me away from the forces that try to stove me up.
I will move forward physically and spiritually to be strong and face all battles. I hope you will, too!