Like any commitment, daily practice makes you stronger.
Posted in Apr 18, 2017
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NIV)
When it comes to exercise I’m one of the biggest wimps on the planet. I can’t seem to stick with a program—any program—to save my life. Somehow, thank goodness, my kids are just the opposite. When it comes to getting into shape, my sons have more determination than anyone.
Our oldest son made the decision to join the service while he was still in high school. Because he hadn’t matured as quickly as some of his friends, he spent that year getting into shape. His goal was to make sure that he was in the best physical condition possible before he left for boot camp.
For a year I watched him juggle school, work and friends to make sure he had time at the gym every single day. It didn’t matter if he was tired, not in the mood, or had a tempting invitation. He made his work out time a priority.
That dedication paid off. He told us later that as hard as the physical side of boot camp was, he had been ready for it.
I took that lesson to heart. No, I didn’t conquer my aversion to physical exercise. Instead I applied that kind of commitment to my spiritual conditioning. I knew that our son’s time in the service would challenge me in ways beyond the physical. So I made it a priority to begin strengthening my own faith muscles.
I leaned into God by spending time reading the Bible, praying and listening to what He had to say. I developed the ability to recognize His voice and sense when He was speaking. Through it all, I grew closer to Him than ever before.
And it made all the difference in the world.
True, I still struggled with worry and stress during our son’s deployments. But by growing closer to God before he left, I had the strength I needed to make it through. And just as our son didn’t stop his physical training after boot camp, I continued to get stronger spiritually.