At Bible study this morning, my sweet friend shared a story about working out. She talked about how last Thursday she had a particularly hard workout using major muscle groups. One of those muscles groups was the quads. She said that the morning after her workout she called the trainer and complained about soreness. A day later she was still sore, and even the next day the soreness was there. Her trainer’s response? “You’ve shredded those muscles and now they’re repairing. But you’ll be stronger.” This morning she confirmed that when she woke up, her legs felt stronger. The pain was gone.
I recently submitted my first chapter to a critique group. Ooh, the anxiety over releasing something I’d worked so hard on to strangers was overwhelming. I tried my best to remind myself that I’m learning and that outside input will be helpful. The second I got my critiqued submission back I sat there, staring, at the marked up margins. It’s okay. I told myself. You’re learning. But it hurt. Now, I’ve read all of those beginner writing books about how rejections can make you angry, make you question your calling, or just plain put you in the dumps. I felt all of those except anger (not sure why, but I think it had to do with my critique group being a part of the American Christian Fiction Writers and I trust that my critique partner was kind with her criticism). Regardless, the shredding of my paper hurt. But if I pay attention to the suggestions, make changes where they are needed, and rewrite what needs to be rewritten-then my writing grows stronger.
The same can be said of my spiritual life. As my friend shared with our group this morning, the pain she felt in her muscles reminded her of the pain we sometimes have to go through when God is exposing our sins. He shreds the darkness, and fog surrounding the things that keep us from getting close to Him. It’s painful. And the pain can last for hours, days, or sometimes longer. But, we WILL get stronger. The temptations that threaten us will be easier to avoid. If we turn to Him and seek His will, asking Him to make us aware of what needs to be changed in our lives-He will answer.
Let your muscles be shredded today and become stronger in whatever you do.
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” Psalm 18:32*
“You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalm 59:17*
“The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11*
*Scripture taken from the New International Version
**Don’t forget about this month’s opportunity to win a $15 gift card. Simply leave a comment about your favorite book and watch for your name to be drawn as the lucky winner on November 5.