While watching “The Biggest Loser”, my friend and fellow running buddy, Amy, was inspired by a quote that has really spoken to me:
“Stop thinking like you are a fat person in pain while exercising – realise that you are an athlete in training!”
Spiritually, we need to embrace the pain. We are meant to be athletes in training, not spiritually fat & giving up at the first sign of offence, trials or pain.
There is nothing wrong with our air conditioning, warm blankets and lovely modern comforts, but can you live without it? Does it keep you reliant on yourself and feed that selfish voice telling you that you have a right to this lifestyle? Or are you gratefully seeing everything as blessings from God?
Recently we had a lovely Christian couple visit our church for a family baptism on a stinking hot day. The lady commented off-hand, “I don’t know how you worship here every week without air con!” I don’t think she meant anything serious by it, but it made me ponder – there are people in conflict zones who are being killed for worshipping Jesus. I wonder if they wake up some mornings thinking, “Gee, its hot today and that trailer we cram ourselves into is pretty hot and stinky. Don’t know if I’ll go worship God today!”
Chambers said, “The great difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God and it is His blessings that make it difficult. Troubles nearly always make us look to God: His blessing are apt (likely) to make us look elsewhere.” (My Utmost for His Highest, January 22)
Has our modern comfort, the things God has blessed us with, taken our gaze off the One who has blessed us so abundantly?
I am still so overwhelmed by the generations before us. Our generation now is so not hard-core! Our generation has not survived a depression, the struggles of a world war, living without certain foods for a time or any kind of rationed living. Do you think we could do it? Would our faith survive or would we blame God for not helping us out in our cushy little lives?
Perhaps we need to live like it’s the struggles that are best for us, that strengthen us spiritually, mentally and physically. If our struggles direct us to and draw us closer to the Lord, than what better place is there to be?