Thursday, October 18, 2012

Building My Faith Muscle

The older I get, the more and more I learn just how much faith is a spiritual muscle that requires exercise. Light exercise is good for the maintenance of any muscle and helps keep things flexible. But in order to truly build muscle, it needs to be taxed and broken down so it can be healed and rebuilt even stronger.

Right now, God has put me on a faith muscle building plan.

Unless this is the maintenance plan.

I truly hope it's not.

I'd hate see what the muscle building plan looks like.

If you want to know the truth, I told God that I'm tired and need a break. I also told him that I'm glad He doesn't give me the option of seeing what His faith muscle building exercise plan for me looks like ahead of time, or I would flat out deny going along with it. I'm sure, if you were given the opportunity to see the one He has for you, you'd deny going along with it too. That's no big surprise to God. He knows we wouldn't come along for the journey if He showed it to us ahead of time, so I'm sure it's why He doesn't give us the "Peek at the Plan" option.

If He did give me the "Peek at the Plan" option, I can assure you there's no way I would agree to what's on this year's plan: advanced endometriosis, surgery, a shot every month for six months that would make my hair fall out, give me hot flashes, and make me feel like an emotional wreck who is losing her mind at times ...even if that's what it takes for the cure. There's no way I'd agree to the latest thing He's brought my way: a gross thing the size of a nickel on my head that one doctor called malignant when he saw it and another doctor called a benign growth when she saw it. Either way, it has to be removed and biopsied. It's going to hurt. I'm going to have a bald spot, even if it's temporarily. I'm going to have to put yucky cream on it that's going to make my hair look gross. I'm going to have a disgusting open wound on my head. And it's going to happen right at the holidays so everyone can see it and ask me questions about it. Nope. There is no way I'd agree to any of that. Not in the least.

Here's the thing... I'm not doubting that God has a purpose and a definite end result in mind for the faith muscle building plan that He has me on. I'm not doubting that my faith muscles are going to emerge stronger. I'm not doubting it. But I am tired of it, so very tired of it. As with any exercise plan, we need rest and a chance to catch our breath. And God knows it. I think that's one of the reasons Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
So I went to Him and told Him that I'm ready for the rest that He's promised. And this morning, God gave it to me in a way that is so deeply personal to me. As much as He knows the things that hurt me, He also knows the things that refresh me. This morning I set out for a walk with the purpose of trying to clear my brain. Almost from the get-go, God shut down the factual, logical, "deal with it" side of my brain and awakened the "feeling free" part of my brain that recognizes beauty, simplicity, creativity, life, and joy. It's the part that I haven't been using in awhile. This morning, I was able to truly see the beautiful palette of fall colors that I had been missing, warm morning sunshine spilling through the trees and casting its golden light, birds waking up to continue on their journey to a warmer climate, and a leaf shaped in a heart - the reminder that God gives me to remind me that I'm loved by Him.

I don't know how much longer God is going to give me to rest because my faith muscle building workout isn't over, not by a long shot, but God always makes good on His promises. And today He gave me what I've needed and haven't asked for until now, and that's rest. If you haven't asked God for rest, and you know you need it, ask Him. Tell Him. He'll respond in a way and the time that's just for you. Because He does promise to give us rest.

- Erin

4 comments:

  1. I always love your blogs! You are such an encouragement! I would find a cute elf hat to wear this Christmas ;)

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  2. Beautifully written! I too have been on a faith muscle building plan for about 4 years and you are so right, had I been given a sneak peak I would not have gone along willingly, but Oh the blessings I would have missed! I will pray for your continued journey and for the amazing things He will do in and through you!!

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  3. WOW! We are praying for you Erin! Thanks for your transparency in sharing these things with us!

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  4. Great article, thanks for sharing information muscle building optimization. http://goo.gl/XaW494

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