Spiritual Weight Lifting

I hate working out. Hate it. And don’t even think about scrolling down and offering advice on how to make it less hateful. I don’t want to hear it. Exercise is, I am sure, part of the curse. God could not have intended for us to have to exercise. There will be no gyms in Heaven. Image result for hate the gym

However…I need to exercise. I used to exercise (on and off…more off than on) because I wanted to lose weight. Now, though, I have more a pressing motivation – if I don’t work out, my back hurts. See, my spine is fused, so my back muscles have to work a lot harder than regular folks whose vertebrae help carry the load. And, until this year, my muscles didn’t complain.

But, alas, my youth is evaporating and my muscles are no longer as cooperative as they used to be. In fact, those muscles started really yelling at me back in January. I was in pretty intense pain that lasted for a few months. I went to several doctors, had X-Rays, tried every remedy anyone offered. Then, I broke down and saw a chiropractor (which I never thought I’d do because I have like 3 working vertebrae – what’s the point?). But this guy felt my back and immediately recognized the problem – “Your muscles can no longer handle the pressure. You need to work out.”


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Me at the Gym

But intense pain will make a person do anything. So I bought a membership to our local gym and began working out with my husband – who does not hate exercise. Nor does he hate telling me what to do. So he saw me lifting the 2.5 lb weights and he walked over and added 5lbs to it, then 10lbs. My arms, back, and shoulders are weak. Anything over 2.5 lbs hurts, people. And I look like an idiot, breathing like I’m in labor to push 10lbs up when the Hulk across from me is bench pressing 1000.

But, Dave says, you’ll never strengthen those muscles by lifting 2.5 lbs. I have to add more weights, have to push harder, because the end goal is less back pain.

And it’s working.

But I still hate it.

I realized something, though, last night at the gym: God is to us in life what Dave is to me at the gym. He adds more “weight” to our lives, not because he is trying to punish us, but because our “spiritual muscles” are weak. He wants to make us stronger, better able to carry the burdens of life, to lift people up and carry them to Him. But we won’t naturally do what it takes to get stronger, so God helps us along. And it doesn’t always feel like help. Sometimes it really, really hurts. Often, we hate that “weight”. But His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Mt. 11:30). He is for us, not against us (Romans 8:31). As He is building our “muscles”, there may be discomfort, even embarrassment. But, in the end, we will be stronger and better equipped to fulfill His calling in our lives.

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1 Comment

  1. stacey
    Sep 26, 2016

    Enjoyed this article. trying to start weight lifting program and was looking for spiritually motivated weight lifter to follow and get inspiration.

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