I've been dwelling on this since yesterday. (James 1:2-4)
Yesterday, GAINS! Yes! This is what I've been working all year for.
Been running a lot this year, training for my first marathon in October. Probably the longest I've ever trained consistently. Sure, I did sports in school, but in between seasons I was kind of a slacker. Go for a run every once in awhile type slacker.
I'd always have grand plans [for an off season running routine], but then wouldn't follow through.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE working out--running, biking, swimming (yes, I'd love to do a sprint tri sometime in the future), lifting weights, playing sports, etc.
But I need an end goal in sight to actually get my butt out of the house.
Or, something already set up. Like conditioning class in high school--four years of that was awesome! I would have loved to keep doing that the rest of my life.
(Thought--maybe that's a business plan. Or is that Cross Fit? Thinking something more like conditioning class though. People could sign up for a one hour lifting class, same people every week, have a community of adults that meet a few times a week and go through their sheets like we'd get in class of the workouts and reps for that day. I realize gyms like the YMCA have classes, but not lifting classes, right? Or! Local high schools could open up their weight rooms during empty hours and have adult classes. I'm liking that idea actually.)
Back to GAINS. Ran 9.5 miles at Rancho yesterday, felt great. Hiked strong on all the uphills, ran all the downs, body was working well. I was on a runner's high for sure. I almost posted on fb about how great I felt about that run. Emotional high!
That run did not happen without some suffering though. The previous Saturday, I did 17 miles with 3,000 ft vert. Sucked. In the everything hurts and I'm dying kind of sucking.
Obviously, the body adapts and becomes stronger. I got back to running a few days after that 17er, and the legs still worked. Things only got better from there.
The same is true with life. I've been thinking on this joy in trials thing lately too, because of what I see a friend going through on fb lately-- it's been trial after trial after trial. To the point of, God, hasn't she had enough?! Are you trying to break her & her husband? Why the slew of hardship?
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
To be clear, she is not asking those questions of God. She is looking to God to get through trial after trial. I am encouraged by her faith!
We grow so much through pain. Be it spiritually or physically. We don't see it when we're in the midst of the pain. Things feel too hard; we feel like giving up. Focusing on one foot in front of the other is all we can do in the moment.
But then! Afterwards, we realize we survived with God's help, that He saw us through, and will be faithful to the very end. Our trust in Him solidifies even more--He will never leave us nor forsake us. We come back stronger.
I was just hit by what I said earlier: "Are you trying to break her & her husband?" The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
In the pain, sometimes we don't know what to do, because of the focusing on the one step at a time thing. I like how after verse 4 of James 1, verse 5 is: "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
What a good God we serve! He truly does take care of our every need.
1 day ago