Why God Makes Me Do the Hard Stuff
"... for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8 (NASB)
Recently, I went to the gym to get in some cardio. Cardio makes me sweat, and sweat means my fat is crying.
Then I decided to go for some strength training. I don't like strength training.
I found myself wandering around, trying to remember which machine did what and how much weight was the right amount. I looked like a lost puppy.
I just don't like weights. They are unfamiliar. They are hard.
My visit to the gym was the first time in a long while that I've attempted resistance training on my own.
At various times last year, I'd been at the gym, hitting the weights ... but not by myself.
Last year, my husband and I made a commitment to invest in our health and worked with a personal trainer.
It. Was. So. Hard. And it involved a lot of weights.
We were with someone who knew what they were doing, giving us direction.
Someone successful in getting both of us to try new machines, routines and levels of resistance.
Someone who worked us hard ... very hard.
I didn't like it.
Well, I didn't like it until I started seeing a change in my body.
There is something about being pushed to lift a weight you think is too heavy that brings a new level of physical and mental strength — challenging you to attempt more reps than you would on your own.
There is something about a person knowing what you are capable of doing, even when you don't know that for yourself.
There is something about a trainer.
In my spiritual life, I like to do what "works." I go to church. I pray. I read my Bible.
But sometimes I'm challenged in the gym of life to hit the heavy stuff. But not by myself.
When I made the commitment to have Jesus be the Lord of my life, I also committed to allow Him to be my personal Trainer.
And I'm not gonna lie. Sometimes it's been hard. And involved a lot of heavy lifting.
But I've learned that God is truly Someone who knows what He is doing.
Someone who gets me to try new experiences, routines or levels of resistance.
Someone who allows the hard ... the very hard.
And many times I don't like it.
That is, until I start seeing a change in my soul.
There is something about being pushed to lift a weight that we think is too heavy that brings us to a new level of spiritual maturity — challenging us to go for a few more days, weeks, months or years in a situation we wouldn't even attempt on our own.
There is something about a Person knowing what you are capable of even when you don't know that for yourself.
There is something about the Trainer.
Indeed, God the Master Trainer, has the health of our spirit and soul in mind.
And because He knows where I need to be tested, challenged and stretched, He will not allow me to stay in my comfort zone.
Although I could keep doing what "works" in my spiritual life, it's the uncomfortable situations God allows that strengthen and make me more "fit" in the faith.
So hang in there. God is the Master Trainer. He knows what He's doing.
Father God, I really don't like when life is hard. I don't like carrying heavy loads or pressing through difficult situations. Please help me see each and every uncomfortable circumstance You allow in my life as an opportunity for me to grow. Help me to trust that You are indeed the Master Trainer. Help me to believe and rest knowing that, even when life is tough, You know exactly what You are doing and have my spiritual strength and well-being at heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 1:3-4, "After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let this endurance complete its work so that you may be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing." (CEB)
2 Corinthians 4:17, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
In what area of your life are you having to do some "heavy lifting"? What heavy load is God asking or allowing you to carry?
Take a moment to reflect on your life. Where do you see that you have grown spiritually? What circumstances has God allowed that have helped you to grow?