Thursday, October 06, 2005


Weight training

As I've written earlier, I've suffered some physical aches and pains over the last few years. A friend of mine was undoubtedly right when he assured me that my body would let me know it was getting older once I hit forty. These aches and pains motivated me to undertake some health-related changes, especially improvements in what I eat, as well as visit a few doctors. Although my improvement during the last five years has been noticable, it's also been slow and has been punctuated by a number of temporary setbacks.

Through all my trials, God has taught me many good and useful lessons. He's taught me patience and perseverence, and He's taught me how to fulfill my responsibilities when my strength is less than 100%. Situations that used to cause me a considerable amount of fear and anxiety don't faze me nearly so much now. All in all, I can see that God's strength has indeed been made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Moreover, I have enjoyed many small mercies from the Lord throughout these trials. Just as He promised, He has given me the grace to endure them all.

As if this weren't enough, God has lately been showing me yet another mercy. Thanks to the advice of a couple of doctors combined with some insights I found on the Internet, I've found what appear to be lasting solutions to much of my main physical issue. This has resulted in a degree of physical strength and comfort that's greater than what I can remember even in my youth. Yes, in some ways I feel better today than I felt when I was in my early twenties.

This is not just a physical benefit. Thanks to my aforementioned training in coping with limited strength, I find that as my strength approaches 100% that I can do much more than ever. This includes greater physical stamina to be sure, but I also feel freer to reach out to those around me with love and boldness. It's even helped me to post more often to this blog. :-) Much like the runner who trains while wearing a heavy weight on his shoulders so he'll be strengthened to run all the faster on race day, I can see how my "weight training" these last few years has been sufficient to strengthen me for the challenges and opportunities I enjoy today and will enjoy tomorrow.

My Christian friend, if you find yourself undergoing various trials, don't be discouraged! As Scripture teaches and as I can now testify, God is refining you and training you for greater fruitfulness, both in this life and the life to come. In my present case, God has granted deliverance in this life, but sometime in the future (if the Lord tarries) He will have me undergo a trial from which deliverance will come only with death. In either case, He will keep His promise to deliver the righteous from every affliction.

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