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  • Rev. Bradford G. Olson

Blessing or Curse?

I remember the first time I went to a national powerlifting competition. I had been training for about 3 years and was thrilled to have qualified to compete at that level. It was the USPF Nationals in 1986. I knew I didn't have much of a chance of winning, so I set a more realistic goal of just beating someone.

I did a 135 lb warm up. He did a 135 warm up. I did a 225 warm up. He did a 225 warm up. I did a 315 warm up and was ready to compete. My first attempt was around 400 lbs. He went on do to a 405 lb warm up. Then a 495 warm up. Then a 585 warm up. I think is best deadlift that day was about 660 lbs. To my knowledge he is the only person to ever deadlift 5x his body weight.

I now know that he has scoliosis in his back. When he dead lifts, his back acts like an accordion and he actually shrinks about 4 inches, cutting his range of motion significantly. What I had thought was a curse turns out to have been a blessing.

Joseph is another person who learned a similar lesson (Genesis 50). He was among the youngest of 12 brothers. He had a hard time getting along with his sibs. He thought he was better than them. He had dreams of them being under his control and worse, he told them about the dreams. One day they got so angry at him that they put him in a pit so that he would be sold into slavery.

He ended up in Egypt and made a life for himself. He became the right hand man of the Pharaoh. He designed a plan for economic growth that took advantage of good years to prepare for difficult years of feminine. Because they had planned ahead, they were able to help out their neighbors during the difficult years. Some of those they helped were Joseph's family who had sold him into slavery. When they met he said, "What you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good ( Gen. 50:20)."

Is there something that you your life that you see as a bad thing? Is there a way that God might be able to use it to bless you. Is there a way that God might be able to use it for good?

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