I’ve suffered from heel pain for over a decade. I just want to be able to run, but sometimes I can barely even walk. I learned that I need to build up the intrinsic muscles and other tissues of my feet. My doctor gave me a treatment called toe yoga. Yes, that’s a thing. My journey through this affliction has made me ponder why extra exercises like these are needed.
God made the human form for running. Recent headlines relayed results of a metastudy that showed running just once a week significantly lengthens lifespans and thwarts heart disease.1 Why should I have to do toe yoga if God made my body to run?
I put no stock in the Eastern mysticism attached to yoga, but exercise works. My wife just completed her first marathon. She learned that strengthening exercises help the body endure long-distance races. If God intended us to run, then why wouldn’t He just make our bodies with the needed strength without our having to work so hard to build that strength? Well, maybe He did in the beginning.
Would Adam have suffered from heel pain like I do when he was my age? I doubt it. Adam and Eve didn’t have the millions of accumulated mutations in their bodies that our generation bears. Their DNA was perfect in the beginning. Their body tissues were flawless prior to the Genesis 3 curse. No wonder Adam lived over 900 years—his superb body took all that time to finally break down.
My, how times have changed. Today’s sons and daughters of Adam and Eve rarely reach one measly century. We get older faster. This biological breakdown didn’t belong to the originally “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31).2 Our feet, and all our muscles and attachments, suffer the consequences of the Genesis 3 curse on sin.
Should I blame my Creator for my body’s shortcomings? Absolutely not. I blame sin. Any body function that I enjoy, such as breathing, typing, or playing with my kids, is a gracious gift from our heavenly Father. I can even enjoy memories of the thousands of times I ran in the past. What have I done to earn these many abilities, including my memory? I didn’t craft my own hands, heart, or head. Genesis 1 says that God created all things good, and chapter 3 helps me understand my foot pain.
Romans 8 explains the curse: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (vv. 22-23). This chapter teaches that “the sufferings of this present time” (v. 18) make us eagerly wait and hope for “glorious liberty” and our redemption (v. 21).
My heel pain makes me groan. But instead of groaning against my Creator, Romans teaches that I should groan for Him! After all, He promises a new body to live on a new earth forever for those who repent of sin and trust Christ. The more painful this life, the more we will appreciate the glory of the next. One day I will run again without pain, away from the need for exercises like toe yoga.
- I.e., a study of studies. See Lambert, J. Running just once a week may help you outpace an early death. Science News. Posted on sciencenews.org November 5, 2019, accessed November 5, 2019.
- Isaiah promises a partial reversal of the aging aspect of the Genesis 3 curse during the millennial kingdom: “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 65:20).
* Dr. Thomas is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry from the University of Liverpool.