I am going to they YMCA to help in my goals of getting in better shape. As with most of us, I was in better shape as a younger man, but the years have played an evil joke on me. I remember how great it felt to work out in the gym back in those days because it was something I did on a daily basses; however, I now feel all of the pains and hurts of the lack of that consistency from the past number of years.
I was thinking about the correlation between the pain of the early beginnings of a hard workout routine vs the pain we experience when ever God begins to work on us, and I thought of some similarities.
When one begins to work out his or her body when it is so out of shape, the first month or so are the absolute hardest. You will discover mussels you never knew you had, and pains and stiffness that will make one think their dieing. It is these early stages that most people stop going to the gym, after all, who really wants to feel such pain when they can stay at home, eat Cheetos, and watch Monday Night Football. Similarly, When God first truly begins to work on us we experience an abundance of pain, that ,many times, makes us want to quit. Man, have I been there a number of times.
However, once one get's through those pains and there body gets used to the work out, in other words we develop good habits, something happens inside of us. The very same workouts we once dreaded we begin to enjoy. The endorphins that are released in our bodies become something that we desire to have. We begin to feel better and more exuberant...more alive if you will. When we allow God to do His perfect work in us, and endure the pain that comes with it, a similar thing happens inside of us. As Romans chapter 12 says we are to become living sacrifices unto God, that is we lay our bodies down upon the alter of God and allow God to chisel away all the junk that we have accumulated over the years. Just as all the fat and unhealthy particles developed on our bodies over the years, God has much to work out of us. Once we begin to feel the effects of such a work in us, though painful, we will begin to see a wonderful change in us that will make us feel alive. We then desire God to continue His work to a point we become reliant upon his work in us, and His spirit that is released in us.
Paul says Col 1:24 "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church". Rejoicing in his sufferings...interesting. Let us endure to the end my friends, and find joy in the chastises of our Lord, for those He loves He chastises. Heb 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." After all...No Pain...No Gain.
Just thinking...God bless.