Resistance Training

Sparkling water swirled, generating a powerful current that created a vortex in the center of my grandparent's swimming pool. My grandfather led the way while my siblings and I all followed him, propelling ourselves through the water to create the whirpool.

Once the current strengthened, I couldn't resist turning around in the water to swim against the surge. Oh man, what a futile effort. Or so it seemed. Though my little body swam hard and fast, I usually ended up going backwards, smacking right into my grandpa. With merriment in his voice he'd say, "Come on, you can do it. Keep going!" Then the water would whip me further backwards while I struggled to make progress. It seemed futile and pointless, but I never gave up.
Our lives can feel the same way. But the resistance that we find irksome can bolster us if we allow it. Swimming against the current is hard, but God uses the hard things in our lives to strengthen us. By summer's end all those years ago, my muscles had increased and I could go faster and further than before.
Disappointments, hurts, sicknesses and other trials are all forms of serious spiritual resistance training. Instead of complaining about flexing our spiritual muscles, we can listen for the voice of God as we struggle, telling us, "You can do it! Keep going!"
By season's end, our muscles will bulge and we'll be further along than we ever thought possible.
"Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice." Isaiah 41:10
How about you? Are you currently in resistance training?

13 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

What a great analogy! I think we are swimming against the cultural current in so many ways, especially as we try to train our children! Personally, I feel like I've been swimming hard all year! Thanks for reminding me that God is using my hardships as resistance training.

Terri Tiffany said...

Swimming and swimming so I don' drown in the waves! But I know my feet will touch the bottom soon:)) Thanks for a great post!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Yes friend, in a big way, both on the spiritual and physical front, but its a challenge that God has prepared my heart for.

I'm in this for the long haul ... all the way home to heaven. I in training now for the days ahead.

Happy Mother's Day to you; blessings to you in the week ahead.

peace~elaine

Heather said...

Oh dear, yes! A resounding yes!
I so do dislike resistance training. I was on swim team in high school. I can relate.
The spiritual resistance training going on right now is nearly overwhelming at times. God has given me breaks to catch my breath, and then gotten me back in the water to keep swimming.
All areas of my life are being challenged and I am ready to drop. I want to stop. but i know He wants me to keep going. So, what do I do? I keep trying to fight my own will and do His instead.

Nearly exhausted, but still swimming...
heather

Things Above said...

That was a beautiful post! I am blessed each time I stop by your blog. Love, Heather

Melinda Means said...

You KNOW I am, Julie! Thanks for the words of encouragment... exactly what I need to be reminded of in this season of my life.
I think God is teaching me to STAND. To claim His Word and to claim His power over the enemy.
Warfare means we're doing something right or Satan wouldn't bother with us. I'll keep swimming!

Melinda
www.parentingconfessions.com

Billy Coffey said...

Oh yes, that resistance. It's taken me a long time to see the benefits, but I'm slowly learning to be happy that God doesn't stop the rain but chooses to walk beside me holding an umbrella.

Great post, Julie!

KelliGirl said...

None of us likes resistance training...at the gym or in life. I know I don't want to suffer, struggle or persevere, but the reward and growth on the other side often far outweighs the pain.

Your story really resonates with me tonight as I realize I'm in the midst of a struggle I didn't even know I was in. I can see I've been struggling to stay afloat under my own effort, wondering why it was so hard. Yes, I persevered, but I lost sight of our one true source of strength.

Thanks for another dose of life giving truth!

Blessings,
Kelli

Angela said...

Great analogy- I have such a great life, but am constantly up against something. Great reminders here!

Susie said...

Oh Julie, I am so glad I found this today following your Twitter update. We just found out our renters are taking off 2 months earlier than the lease ends. They have to move out of town quickly. Skip and I are going to be flexing those spiritual muscles big time coming up with our new mortgage payment and trying to help our current landlord find a renter to take over our lease. I know God can make it all work out. So fitting I read this today. Our God is ready to rescue those who call on Him, and I am calling!

Spring Fricks said...

Oh, my muscles are being strengthened everyday. Only he knows what it's for but I trust Him.

Chatty Kelly said...

I loved your post but something else struck me as I read this. Often times they very things we are swimming against, are the problems we created in the first place! (at least that's the way it seems in my life.)

Great writing as always!

Jill said...

Thanks for giving me a new way to look at things! Hadn't thought it about it like that, but sure makes perfect sense. Thanks again, Jill

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