The clock started. It was a race- my endurance against the seconds on the bright red clock mounted on the gym wall.
The simple exercises on the list for the daily workout were all simple in and of themselves, but when combined in a certain order the simple tasks turned torturous.
Seconds ticked by like eternity as my mind willed my body to perform the movements.
Some seasons of life feel like terrible workouts.
Simple events or circumstances, when in isolation, never frustrate us. But when combined the wrong way, what was once no big deal suddenly becomes monumentally overwhelming.
Paul teaches us the importance of endurance in Romans 5 when he says, “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Did you catch the gift about hope? Hope does not put us to shame.
Whatever we face this year, whatever trials, challenges, growth opportunities, setbacks, or sufferings, they are not in vain. They are not without purpose.
If we allow them to, the very things meant to hurt us will be the things that harden our resolve, heighten our faith, and bring us hope.
The beautiful thing about the ugly workouts, each and every one of them build my muscles stronger, my mind more dedicated, and my awareness of my ability more secure. Each workout meant to break me down in fact builds me up.
So the next time the clock starts- with it’s ugly red glow- I’m confident I will survive, I will thrive, and the clock will eventually end.
The challenges in front of you today- they can break you down, or build you up. The choice on the result is yours.