I’ve been struggling with the cold-that-will-not-end for most of this new year. Being sick has wreaked havoc on my gym schedule. In the fall, I went 5 days a week, almost every week. But since the New Year, I have only had one 5-day week.
Today was the first day I made it to the gym in about two weeks time. Understandably, I’ve lost ground as far as my workout routine goes. It was harder to lift what I had been lifting before I got sick. As I worked out today, I sweated more, I was out of breath more, and I trembled more. One of the things that is often heard in the classes I take at the gym is the encouragement to keep going, even when your muscles are screaming for a break. That is the point where you’re really starting to sculpt your body – to make a real difference in the strength of your muscles. So often, our instructors tell us to mentally “power through the pain.” I did a lot of that today, more than I have had to do in a while.
But the thing is, when you do keep going despite screaming muscles, you discover that you CAN keep going despite screaming muscles. Your legs won’t actually fall off, just keep moving. Willpower can overcome the weariness.
But it is different if you are dealing with spiritual weariness. Willpower alone cannot overcome spiritual fatigue. This is why I look for ways to connect to God, daily. Whether it is a quiet moment of prayer, some time spent reading the Bible, conversations with those who share my faith, or a time of corporate worship. I need those moments to refresh my spirit, to renew my faith.
Paul wrote this to the church in Corinth:
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT
When I try to keep going once I am spiritually weary, I fail. Because the source of strength is outside of myself. The source of my strength is the Living God of the Universe – one who is outside of time, one who is all-present, all-knowing and all-powerful. To try to keep going on my own strength, means going somewhere other than the SOURCE.
In my gym example, if I tried to keep going based on the way my muscles feel in that making-a-difference zone, I would fail. The source of my strength in that moment is my mind, my willpower.
It is so important that we connect with the source of our strength. That we remember when we are weak, God is strong. That we rely on His strength and allow it to flow through us. Then we will not grow weak, and we will not stumble.