I used to despise weight training, particularly in high school when it was gross to be in a weight room with bulked out guys who were dripping sweat and grunting all the time. That was super disgusting to me & so it wasn’t until my forties when I even considered the possibility of doing weights again. On this go around, I began to enjoy weight training because I had a friend who trained with me & we had some expert coaching. Then I got really excited about the idea because my clothes started to fit better! I also learned some helpful principles:
Form is important: the wrong form can result in harmful injuries and weights that are too heavy are counterproductive. This reminds me to cast my burdens on Jesus because He’s strong enough to carry the heavy weights in my life
Strength grows with consistency: when I’m consistent with weights, my strength improves. And with Jesus, being steady in my daily quiet times helps to strengthen my interior life
Weakness can be changed to strength: at the end of doing a rep, my muscles are often tired & that’s when it’s the weight most difficult but also beneficial. Leaning into Jesus in our weakness is where we can have the most strength!
In this new age of budget airplane travel, airlines are looking for all kinds of ways to squeeze out an extra nickel. Some airlines will serve their customers only water & require payment for anything different. I also flew an airline that charged me for some of my carry on luggage & it’s now customary to pay for one’s checked luggage on domestic flights. So I find myself carrying my luggage for almost all of my travels, to save money.
If I’m not careful, I also tend to carry my luggage with God, rather than checking my luggage, baggage & excess weight into God’s proficient care. I’m learning to check my baggage with God more consistently & not just when I’m overwhelmed 🙂
Ps 55:22 says to cast your cares on the Lord for He cares for you. Stop carrying your luggage through life 🙂
A few years ago, I started to lift weights w a friend & began to really enjoy this form of exercise. I like all of the benefits that go with lifting weights – clothes are more lose, better muscle tone, bone strengthening, etc. But today, I’m reminded that Jesus tells us to cast our burdens onto Him because He cares for us.
So please let me encourage you to give your burdens to Jesus, the burdens of family concerns, financial uncertainty, job / school challenges, health issues, etc. There are so many things that can become heavy burdens in our lives, but Jesus is standing close to you waiting for you to lean into Him and hand over these burdens, challenges, weights, struggles and difficulties.
When I think about the word “strong“, I automatically think about muscles, weight lifting, eating protein, endurance, some pain & my gym. It’s interesting that I don’t immediately associate strength with teamwork, honesty, growing, change or time. But when I think about it, these words are also essential ingredients for the word “strong”.
On a somewhat deeper level, I think it’s critical to consider where strength comes from. Where does endurance, discipline, cooperation, patience & the like come from? For me, the short & ultimate answer is God.
Without God in my life, my endurance is like exercising with Halloween candy for fuel.
Without God in my life, the strength of my will power is like trying to swim a lap in a 50m pool without taking a breath – the effort burns my lungs & obscures my thinking
Without God in my life, cooperation & teamwork becomes disguised dysfunction (abusive, neglectful, manipulative & selfish acedia)
When I look to God for His strength in my life, the contrast of His strength versus my strength, helps me appreciate how truly weak I am without Him. Be strong!! 🙂