“It will get easier as you get stronger,” she told me as I climbed off the machine.
I groaned. Wouldn’t it be better if it were just easier now?
The machine in question is this mechanism of torture whose name I don’t know (though it works your obliques), but it’s part of the exercise circuit at the gym, where I’ve been working out. “She” is the owner of the gym, who was sympathizing with me even as she signed me up to be tortured more by this card that will keep track of my progress and make the workout harder each time.
Now I don’t want you to worry if you’re not into the athletic thing, because this is not going to be a physical fitness post. Actually that comes tomorrow, which kind of inspired me, but no I’m not going to guilt you about exercise, so don’t worry!
Later that day, my mom and I were talking to a friend who had surgery last year that could have fixed her problem, or could have discovered cancer. She talked about being on the operating table, and how there was nothing like the peace of knowing that no matter which result came, God was with her and had a plan.
Whew. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have faith like that. She made it sound so easy. Effortless. Things you do every day, like pouring a bowl of cereal or shampooing your hair.
And I realized that my obliques aren’t the only thing I need to work on.
That’s when God sent me a picture. I’ve got something coming up in my own life I’ve been pretty worried about. Ok, I confess … I wig out every time I think about doing it.
And in that moment, I wished for this incredible woman’s faith so that I can stop being so afraid. I wished I could choose to just stop being afraid, or else that God would fix my problem with not trusting Him enough and make me brave and ready to do His will no matter what.
And the picture of exercising came into my head. Stretching my faith out to its limits to grab the moments of peace I sometimes find where I feel like it’s all going to be ok.
Push the bars out…Pull them back in for more trust in God’s goodness.
Push…Pull for belief that he has a plan even when I can’t see it.
Push…Pull for patience till the day it all becomes clear.
Push…Pull for comfort and courage in the midst of fear.
Now replace the words “Push” and “Pull” with “read your Bible” “pray” “journal about your feelings, what you’re reading and what God’s saying” “spend time worshiping God” “memorize scripture” and things like it.
The more we practice doing these things, even when we feel like it doesn’t make sense, the stronger we get.
“… Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear,” says Phillipians 2:12. God gives us our salvation by grace, we don’t have to work for it, but I truly believe he wants us to work, even to work out, to get stronger in it after we have it.
And it sure helps to do these things in public so that if we’re not sitting up straight enough, or pushing with the wrong part of our foot, or if we’re tempted to skip a day and each nachos and watch TV instead, someone will notice and help us. That’s why going to church and being in a Bible study are important. That’s how I view Unfading too, as a workout room for us to share as we work out our faith.
So come work out with us! I’m told it’ll get easier as we get stronger.