A Week’s Worth of Workout”

(This week’s writing is inspired by a change of fitness routine which gives the true meaning of “workout”. Personal reflections will be scattered throughout. The piece ends with Rom. 8:28)

This past week, my wife and I started a new fitness routine. We had been going to the senior citizen center for “gentle joints”, a combination of aerobics and stretching, then cool down at the end. This exercise class was fun because we both got to get a little dancing mixed into the steps. We were known as the “dancing couple.” That was great, but it was only on Mondays and Wednesdays, and our bodies weren’t getting the exercise needed to lose weight, tone up, or stay fit. We needed something on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Enter the real workout. Enter the place with “no judgment zone” and “no lunk alarm”.

And enter the land of real workout, and the inspiration for this writing. The machines at this facility are very effective, and definitely stretch, strengthen, and tone the muscles. They do what they are designed to do – painfully so! This was a workout! And we needed it. It stretched us physically, mentally, and spiritually. We need to be stretched in all three areas, painful though it may be – especially spiritually.

I am a creature of habit, and I thrive on that habit, that routine, remaining the same. That gives me a sense of stability. This past week, all that has been thrown out the window with the change in workout. My wife and I experienced two different kinds of exercise, a substitute leader at “gentle joints”, new muscles being stretched (and found!), and a whole world of emotions thrown in for good measure. But it ALL worked out for good. Life does not have to go the way we planned, and it seldom does. Things may not go the way we expect, and that’s okay. And do you know why? Because God is in control. He is sovereign.

God is literally taking every area of our lives, every experience, every heartache and trial, every test, and bringing something good out of it. As I’ve heard it said, “God doesn’t waste a single tear.” In our humanity we will question that. We will wonder why we are going through such a hard time or why things happen the way they do. Truthfully, we are not big enough or wise enough to understand. We are not God, and we were never intended to be! Remember that the devil tempted Eve to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden – “you shall be like God.” (Gen. 3:5)
Sometimes life really is hard. Our struggles cause pain in body, mind, and soul. Yes, life really
is hard, but God really is good! It will all “work out” in the end!

Rom. 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”

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