Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
For the past few months, I have been trying to return to my pre-surgical level of fitness. It has required a great deal of patience. At times, it has been very frustrating and discouraging. Often at the end of my hour of exercise, I felt like I had taken one step forward and two steps backward.
For encouragement, I started reading the following verse before leaving for the gym:
1 Chronicles 28:20 – Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. (NIV)
Then as my patience wore even thinner, I added reading this verse:
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (NKJV)
After reading these Scriptures for several days, I realized that I had been focusing on the wrong goal. I needed to concentrate on preparing myself physically to do the work for this one day that God had given me.
As time passed, I began to see tiny gains. I stopped focusing on the number of miles biked or walked in a given time frame. I even stopped staring at the monitor recording my heart rate, and I weighed myself only once a week. What a blessing it was to know that God is walking with me in my steps forward and in my steps backward.
"Patience is seeing each step as a journey rather than seeing a journey as a thousand steps." – R. E. Goodrich
Now each day on my way to the gym, I remind myself that God has blessed me with this day, and I need only embrace today's challenge. So I continue to try to improve my speed, my strength, and my endurance. I also continue to hold out hope for an age-appropriate heart rate during exercise and a lower number on the scales. When I finally reach my goals, I will be healthy and fit once again and I will be ready for whatever the next challenge is that God has for me — in God's time, not mine! What is your challenge today?
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the words in Scripture that help us to keep on keeping on and for the promise that You will go with us each day in all our steps. Give us the courage, we pray, to be patient and to persevere, even when our timeframe isn't Yours. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.