Be Wiser Than You Feel
BY SEAN TERRY | JUNE 1, 2021
Doctors know their stuff. They tend to be extraordinarily knowledgeable about how the human body works and how to keep it healthy. Every doctor is a person, meaning they aren’t perfect. But they do try their best to help us. And they absolutely know better than Sean Terry.
So when a doctor gives you very specific instructions on how to take your pain medications for a broken back, it is definitely in your best interest that you follow those instructions exactly. It would be downright foolish to think you can play it by ear and take your medications when you think you need them, as opposed when you are told you need them.
A few weeks into recovering from a serious fall that left me with two broken vertebrae, I had made an enormous mistake: I had failed to take my pain medication often enough. Now in my defense, I didn’t think that was a problem at first. Besides, I didn’t want to become addicted to pain medication or take too many! That sounded like a real problem I had no interest in dealing with. And a couple hours after taking my regular dose of pain medication I felt fine. So what is the point of taking more if I don’t think I need it?
Many of you are probably predicting how well that worked out for me. If you aren’t managing that pain properly in your body, you might end up like me and wake up in the middle of the night in agony. At times I was in so much pain it made me dizzy and nauseous. This scenario played out several times those first couple weeks after my injury, and it all could have been avoided if I just trusted my doctors instructions more than my feelings.
Even after ending my use of pain medication, I still made poor decisions. Many times I neglected using my brace or my walker to get around, and I would inevitably pay a price later. A back injury will also teach you very quickly just how many common items around you weigh more than 10 pounds (the precise limit I was advised from lifting). I sometimes naively thought that maybe an object on the floor was worth reaching down to grab. It wasn’t!
Our feelings are misleading: sometimes we are better off than we think; sometimes we are worse. Now, those pesky feelings are still useful and helpful to us in life. They serve the purpose of communicating the condition of our souls. But I am certain of this: our feelings don’t lie to us, but they can be lied to.
The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom that will protect your heart and save your life.
Proverbs 3:5 NLT
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Proverbs 22:3 NIV
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Proverbs 29:11 ESV
A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
There is a time for faith (spelled R-I-S-K), but there is also a time for caution and discipline. If we fail to honor the latter, how can we expect God’s favor in the former? The Lord’s desire is that we would walk wisely in life, because that will produce blessing for us and glory for Him. My injury has shown me I have to be wiser than I feel. Instructions are to be obeyed before they are to be understood.
Thank God for doctors, because they do know better than I! But the Lord knows best. His instructions in the Word are the difference between life and death. We aren’t meant to just learn one lesson for one situation for just one time. Our lives are always changing. And the only way to know what can be done in those changing circumstances is by continually storing up the Word of God in our hearts.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.