This morning, one of the first things I did was the exercises the therapist recommended for strengthening my injured knee. While I was doing them, I thought, “No pain. No gain!”…a phrase I’ve heard my husband use a few thousand times. You know, while they’re instructing you how to do those simple exercises, it seems like a piece of cake. Tighten this muscle for ten seconds, and do it ten times. NO PROBLEM! The only trouble is, when you’re actually doing that simple task the pain can intensify tremendously. BUT IT SEEMED SUCH A SIMPLE THING TO DO!
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV)
There are exercises in our spiritual life as well; things we must practice or go through to strengthen our spiritual man. It may seem ever so easy to trust God to provide groceries, until you are trying to do it. The steps to remaining “more than a conqueror” when trusting God for financial a break-through may seem simple enough while you’re watching others do it; but, when it comes to you doing it…things can become tricky. When you’re hearing the powerful testimony of God healing a friend but waiting on your own healing, there can be some pain and a lack of understanding.
You see, every trial we face has the potential to make or break us. Exactly the same way a therapeutic exercise can. I can choose to decide the pain level is too intense and that I just can’t push through the homework the therapist gave me to do (which will keep my knee from ever fully healing and regaining its strength); or I can make up my mind that although there is pain and discomfort there, what I’m doing is helping and one day my knee will be healed and properly strengthened as long as I continue to be persistent and determined to do the right thing. Can you see the parallel here?
No matter what we’re going through, we can choose to take the easy way out or we can work through the situation with God on our side. No, it’s not easy waiting for Him to come through, it’s not easy walking through the valley, it takes every ounce of strength and courage within us to take another step at times; but if we put our complete trust in Him and stand upon His promises, believing He’s the same yesterday, today and forever…we will come out of every trial strengthened and healed.
This verse took on a totally different meaning to me today. It’s not only saying that I can do all things with Christ’s help because He strengthens me; it’s saying that everything I go through IN HIM will strengthen me. If I will but trust His judgment about the situations I’m facing; He’ll bring me through it – strengthened!!! Isn’t that reassuring? Press on, get dirty, embrace the pain…knowing that on the other side of this you’ll have a victorious testimony and a sustaining strength like never before.
Help me to push through the pain I’m experiencing today. I know that you know what’s best for me and you want me to be better than before. YOU are my strength...YOU put me through things to make me stronger in my walk with you. I trust you and will hold your hand as you lead me to the other side of this victory.