You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 (NIV).
Lately, I’ve been struggling with going to the gym each morning For years, my alarm has been set to 0500 hours (5 AM to you non-military readers). I go to the gym soon after for cardio and weights. These last few months, however, I have struggled. I tire more easily, and I find it tougher to get motivated to go. Physically, I’m in pretty good shape though I’m carrying more weight than I want to or should. But I tire quicker, and, most days, I would rather just turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.
This won’t be one of those stories where Jesus rushes in to save the day, however (even though He does). I wish I could say I felt the strength of the Savior pull me into the gym and go all Arnold on the weights, but that hasn’t happened yet. What does keep me going is a goal of losing weight, of being able to walk freely and easily when I’m 80. The thought of being in better health than my parents were also motivates me because my genes are, unfortunately, working against me. The combination of that and bad choices means I’m fighting an uphill battle. On my own it’s tough. That’s where Jesus comes in. And when I recognize that He’s motivating me, I begin to see that He’s been there all along, before I even started.
That’s always the case in our lives because daily living is an uphill battle without the strength of God to encourage us. To push us to always give just a bit more. I like to think that He wants me to be in better overall health, so He does motivate me to get up and go, to walk those 10000 steps per day, to eat a little healthier. As my health slowly improves, it really isn’t me improving it: it’s Jesus, who is motivating me to be better. The spark of inspiration to improve comes from Him, from Him giving me the desire to take better care of the body and life He gave.
In fact, the only real strength there is in this world is from Jesus Christ. Human strength (and the desire to fight the alarm clock) eventually fails. Yet strength from Christ is always constant, always there. He gives it freely. Sure, we can train up and tone our bodies and minds and even our hearts to better perform. But we don’t earn it or deserve it or work it out. Strength isn’t ours just because we worked hard. It’s ours because Jesus gives it.
For further reading: Ephesians 6:10, 2 Timothy 2:2.
Lord Jesus, You are strength. You are the only real strength in this world. Thank You for abiding with me and strengthening me