For those who are new to my blog/notes I must explain. I have been on a fitness journey, which is the other half of my cancer journey from 3 years ago. I am taking my life back. Since December, I have lost 32 lbs. I am sharing the lessons God gives along the way with my readers. If you look back to previous messages you can find the 7 previous lessons as well as all of my cancer posts from 3 years ago when the blog started. This post is Lesson 8. While it is related to Louise, this one is not an update on her condition. I wrote this while she was in the operating room.
Lesson 8 Use Resistance
I have a new lesson. It relates to fitness, but also life in general. In fact, different from the past few lessons this one started, not on the floor of jazzercise, but in a discussion with some friends. Someone asked me if I was surprised at how I was learning so much spiritually through fitness. I had to think about that a minute. Really I always have known it must be more than just physical, otherwise I would have been skinny a long time ago. One of my problems has been that I have tried to separate fitness from the other areas of my life. What I am finding now is that there is a ton of overlap and that physical principles are most of the time a reflection of spiritual ones. Today’s lesson? Use Resistance.
In a workout, you use resistance, which is defined as the opposition offered by one force, to another. We have rubber bands that pull against you when you try to pull them. We use weights…sometimes we use our own bodies. The harder you pull or push against it the harder it pushes back. The more resistance, the more you have to work. The more you pull the stronger you will get. Resistance builds muscle. More muscle increases strength. More strength means you can move more, do more…live more.
You can see the same principle in spiritual matters. Trials are like the resistance bands you use when you workout. The bigger the obstacle the more opportunity there is to grow in faith. In life, resistance builds strength. Strength allows for maturity to grow.
The problem is that many times we want to take the path of least resistance. When I work out, I want to quit when the resistance gets too strong, because it reveals how weak I really am. With life’s hardships it hurts and we squirm. We beg God to give us relief. We want the easiest path, but he knows that if there is no resistance there can be no strength and ultimately no freedom. We see our weaknesses up close and we forget that in our weakness he is made strong.
I am sitting in a hospital waiting room as I write this. I wait for my mother-in-law Louise to come out of surgery to remove a brain tumor that was found just a few days ago. This is the overlap of fitness principles within life circumstances. It is one of those rubber-meets-the-road times for me. Do I really believe that resistance will make me stronger? In my heart I cry out, please not another mountain for our family to climb. I want smooth and easy, but I sit here in a hard reality that cannot be escaped or avoided…it must be faced. The results of the surgery are unknown to me now, but I have walked the brain road before when Bill had his brain-injury all those years ago. I was a young bride who suddenly found herself a caretaker to a husband who acted about 6 years old. I have to say that fear is rising up at this very moment. It is all too familiar to me, the waiting, the not knowing. Imagination of all the possible outcomes tries to overcome me, but I push it away. This kind of resistance is overwhelming. Yet I can look from the bottom of this mountain back to that one and I see strength in myself and my relationships that could not have been forged any other way. God was so faithful then, and I must believe he will be again no matter the circumstances to come. Louise said something before she went into surgery that explains it best. She said, “I hate this feeling of total surrender.” Desperation and knowing you have no control over life and death causes anxiety…but it also causes dependence on God if you have faith. Surrendering and using the resistance of trials and hardships, brings wisdom with it. And hope. And strength. Use resistance.