Boaz the Psoas

Have you ever heard of it?

 

The Psoas…… Have you ever heard of it?

 I had never heard of it.  I really didn’t even know it existed.  But, one day I had excruciating back pain.  Not lower back pain, but mid back pain.  This pain, it would be there one minute and then feel as if it disappeared, until I moved just right again…  I wondered what in the world could be causing it.  I blamed the pain on my jelly belly (ie lack of core muscles), my chair (no support), my huge and heavy bag that I whipped over my shoulder on a daily basis, could it be the stress of my Master’s program, possibly the fact that I’m on my feet for a majority of my day (teacher-itis) and I figured that if I stretched my back enough, it would go away.  It didn’t. Maybe if I cracked my back, it would go away.  It didn’t.  In fact, the pain just grew.  I looked like a 130 year old person getting out of my van every day.  Nothing I did improved it.

 

My family was headed on vacation and I thought to myself, if I don’t have a miracle occur I am going to have a complete “cannot move, get me to the hospital” type of experience and that was not in my vacation plans.  I prayed and begged God to remove the pain, but no relief.  I bargained with God… (have you ever done that?) I said “God, if you could please remove this pain…. I know I have neglected my body.  I know this is my fault.  I need to take care of the body you gave me.  I will Lord!  Just please remove the pain!”  The next morning, the pain was still there, but the name Jess was in my brain.  Jess is an amazing masseuse and work out guru, she’s a friend that I met through LAUGH….  “Jess, I’m desperate.  I can’t move and I’m leaving in two days.” She welcomed me in and it was then that she  introduced me to “Boaz, my Psoas.”  (No, she didn’t call it that, but I have belovingly referred to it that way since the day we met).   Jess pushed here and there and applied some direct (felt like finger-poking-through-my-body when she was actually only gently touching a very angry Psoas) pressure.  She kindly but straightforward explained that she could tell Boaz was unhappy and that I needed to take better care of Boaz through preventative stretching and yes, core work, not carrying my heavy bag on my shoulder, etc, etc…..  Jess explained to me that the Psoas muscle, though rarely thought about, can cause immense pain and do a lot of damage to the rest of the body if not taken care of.

 

Hmmmmm.  Jess was talking about my psoas, but in my heart, I felt a much deeper stirring.  Job 38:7-8 says “My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body.8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.”  I knew I had not been paying attention to the health of my body.  If I’m completely honest, I had been relying on my own strength to balance my crazy life.  God had opened amazing doors for me over this last year, opportunities that were beyond my wildest imagination and experiences that He had ordained and that were bigger than any human should attempt to handle on their own…… and in gratitude, I said “Thank you, Lord.  I’ve got it!”  And I did, I had it… until Boaz, my psoas, let me now that I had been neglecting important things. I had been neglecting my time with God and I had been relying on my own strength to accomplish things that were beyond my capabilities.  Things that God created me for, but not things that I could do without Him.  Thus, the need to meet up with Boaz.  Boaz, my psoas, is my personal reminder that if I’m not purposeful and intentional about my priorities – it will fester and it will cause me pain and it can do damage to the rest of my body.  Painful, harmful damage.

Philippians 4:13 says that “I can do ALL things through Him who gives me strength.”  It’s not my strength.  Boaz proved that.  It’s God.  I plan to rely on Him….(Sorry Boaz).   How ‘bout you?  Who will you rely on?       

Rise Up and Pray

It was one of those nights.  I went to bed later than my husband, trying to get some work done in preparation for the coming day.  Though I had only slept 4 hours, I was awakened by it.  You know, “it”.  Not worry, not panic.  Just the deep need to pray.

I poured my heart out to God as my husband slept next to me.  So much was on my mind, and every bit of it I knew I had no real control over.  I had so much to be thankful for yet so many concerns to lift to my Creator and Sustainer, my Abba Father.  Jeremiah 29:11 immediately played in my brain.  “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future”.  I laid there acknowledging the Lord’s words, asking if there was anything that I could do to assist Him with His plans.  Nothing.  Silence.  Though I almost felt a laughter stirring somewhere.  

As I entered the shower, I began repeating the concerns weighing heavily on my heart.  Again, Jeremiah 29:11 filled my brain.  I knew this time there was no need for me to ask if God needed my help with anything.  The verse consumed me as the water poured over me.  “I know the plans I have for you.”

I know them.  You don’t need to know them.  Do you trust Me?  Have I not proven Myself to you?  Aren’t you living a vibrant life, despite the damage you tried to do to yourself early on?  Didn’t I give you a man of integrity to become your spouse?  Did I not see you through hazardous situations with not even a scratch?  Have I not provided for you when you were not sure how to pay the bills?  Did I not give you two beautiful children, though you were infertile?  Didn’t I open a door for you where there was none?  Have I not shown you that you are far stronger and more capable than you ever believed yourself to be?  Why wouldn’t you trust me to have plans for you that are good!?  Haven’t I proven My plans are greater than yours!?

The words of Psalm 5:3 took over my thoughts.  “In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice.  In the morning, I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.”  I had poured out the concerns of my heart to God and now I had to leave them at His feet.  The running water refreshed my weary eyes and the burdens of my heart began to lift as I started to ponder the Truths of my God through the experiences that we have had together.  He is trustworthy.  He always provides.  His plans are better.  He is faithful to completion.  He is my Rock in times of trouble.  He is the same today, tomorrow and always. I can do far more than I ever thought possible through Him who gives me strength.  

One of my friends always says “If He brings you to it, He will see you through it.”  Isn’t that the truth!? I am not sure exactly what this year holds for me nor for you, but I do know that we have a God who has good plans for us.  Plans to prosper us, not to harm us.  Plans to give us hope and a future.  He has those plans already worked out.  He doesn’t need my assistance but He does ask that I know who I am – in and through Him.  This changes daily for me, but today…..  today, I am His.

As you look into what this year has for you, I hope you are saying bring it on, because I am…..