Monday, May 17, 2010

I shall come forth as gold

Thunder rolls, the dogs stand up looking a little worried.  Emergency vehicle sirens ring out as the smell of fresh summer rain fills my nose.  There is a lot on my mind as I eat my banana with peanut butter and honey.  These cloudy, thundery, rainy moments seem to foster pausing life for reflection.

I woke up this morning on the "wrong side of the bed".  I think I had been dreaming about a Friday workout with Trinity Fitness.  Friday is the day when we share prayer requests at the gym.  I awoke and my first thought was about a concern of mine.  This concern has been on my heart for a long while, but recently I have thought about sharing it with my workout buddies.  I guess that is how my dream was going.

It was a difficult start to the day.  It makes for one of those days when you have to force yourself to do almost everything because you just don't care.  I searched some scripture for a little pick me up.  I got a little as I read that Jesus will be coming back one day.  I got dressed and rode off to the gym wishing it were Friday so I could share what was on my heart.  I knew that working out would be tough mentally; I usually do not have much mental endurance with this kind of weight on my mind and heart.

I walk in to find lots of equipment, a pretty big group, and a hard looking workout on the board.  Another discouraging thought, "wow, this looks hard."  It must have shown on my face because one of the women said I looked worried.

Mentally and physically I would say that I have strength.  I am strong enough to often lift the prescribed weight and stand up to whatever difficulty/discouragement comes my way.  But mentally and physically, I do not have much endurance.  I can do push ups on my toes, but can barely make it to 20 before dropping to my knees for the remaining reps.  Mentally, I think I give up too soon or think less of myself than of what I am capable.  Physically, I could probably do more, but because I cannot take the strain mentally, I take a break or go with lighter weight.  It does not help when I have the added burden of life concerns on my mind; then the weight is just too much to bear.

I know it is at these points I need Jesus - to rely on his strength and hope in him.  I am not sure that I have quite figured out how to completely let go of trying on my own to letting him be my source of strength.

As I was running the last stretch of the last part of the workout, Job 23:10 came to mind.  "When he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."  It made me think of the heat of the fire that gold must go through to be purified.  I was hot.  Summer has come quickly here in Melbourne and with the heat and humidity I was extremely sweaty and needed water.  I wanted to quit and just walk.  But I thought about my gold, how I want to come out purified as gold after all the heat and testing.  It gave me the extra umph to keep going and to finish well.

Likewise, I know these tough times in life turn up the heat to purify me even more and I will come forth purified, as gold, when the fire is over.  And that is where my hope is, that there is a higher purpose for this pain and it starts and ends with God, and is all for his glory.  :)  Such a wonderful thing to cling to my Savior!

No comments: