Have you ever taken a close look at a gymnasts’ hands? They are full of calluses and scars from the friction of the bar on their hands. It’s something to see. Being a retired gymnast myself, I haven’t done gymnastics for over 25 years but I still have scars on my hands from what once was a high friction area against the bar. It’s something that I will always have with me.
The rule in our gym is they have to have five rips, or tears in your hands in five different areas to be allowed to stop bars and move to something else. Just because the skin on your hand pulls away and leaves unprotected skin open to the elements doesn’t give you a way out of training. There may be a time that these girls have to compete with a ripped hand, and they have to deal with the pain and learn to live with it. As the old saying goes, “It is far from the heart.”
For my daughter, I paid a ton of money for this little jar of hand cream that is to heal rips in 24 hours, and it also claims to prevent rips from happening if you apply it to your hands on a regular basis, or when you feel that a rip is starting to form. This cream better work wonders for the price it cost me. She isn’t a complainer, but my motherly instinct kicks in when I see hands that have huge open wounds.
How many of us are living like these gymnasts? We might not have visible tears on our hands for all the world to see, but we are dealing with painful circumstance that we have to push through and continue with life of pain, no matter how bad we hurt. Life’s circumstances adds up on us. Before we realize it, we are dealing with many different conflicts and trying to hide tons of pain from outside world.
What we do with the circumstance is what determines our destiny. We can wine about it, and feel sorry for ourselves—like many of my gymnasts do. Geeze, for some of my athletes you would swear they were losing an arm from the dramatic performances they display. Other athletes, you would never know they even have an open wound on their hand, they just keep dredging through without a word. A piece of the skin from the palm of their hand tears away from its spot, and they just finish tearing the skin off and keep swinging away.
As a coach, it’s natural to love the athlete that just tears the skin and keeps on working hard. These are the kids that are mentally strong. A difficulty comes their way, and they pay no attention to it. This is what our Heavenly Father wants us to do with our difficulties in life. Tear through the pain and turn to him for strength.
Life is going to rip you to shreds sometimes. We have to learn to stay strong and realize that sometimes, we can’t make it through tough times alone. We weren’t meant to make it through life alone. That isn’t how God created us. He made us to rely on him for support and when we are feeling these rips of life coming on, we should lean on him. He should be our expensive hand cream of life that will help our hands of life from ripping to shreds.
Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Just like when a gymnast feel a weakness forming on your hands, she can lace the cream to the spot and have it magically heal. The same holds true with God. All you have do is form a relationship with him, and ask him for his help.
All gymnasts get rips, but they help my them develop as athletes. Our rips in life help us mature as individuals, and become all that God created us to be. Grab your expensive hand cream of life—called the Bible, and start lacing your life with expertise from the scripture. Life won’t seem so dramatic, and you will grow strong through His Word and his everlasting love.