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!