This morning I got up and went for a run. I decided I was going to carry some weights with me. My legs are in pretty good shape (at least my calves), but my arms . . . not so much. I don't have time to add more to my life, so even if it won't make a big difference, I figure it won't hurt either. Well, can I tell you how much harder it is to run while carrying weights? And these aren't very heavy weights either, three pounds in each hand. I didn't really think I would notice, but it not only was a pain for my arms, but it slowed down my legs, too. It made me want to give up. As I was pushing through and continuing to run while thinking about this, I was struck by the analogy that this is for our spiritual life.
As a Christian, I am trying to run the race and to run it well, but things come along, and they completely weigh me down. Relationships are painful; the work is difficult; exhaustion and disappointment kick me in the rear. They make me move more slowly and make me want to give up, just like those stupid weights.
While I was running, I thought, "I could just hide these weights in this bush and pick them up on my way home," or, "Better yet, I can just toss them. Who cares if my arms are toned? I don't even know if this is going to make a difference." But I kept on going and even determined that tomorrow I'm going to take them with me again. So again, I was contemplating how this correlates with my spiritual walk, and two things occurred tome:
When I am weighed down, I first need to ask God to carry those weights . . . it says so in Scripture (1 Peter 5:&). I do this, but sometimes the weight is not lifted. Sometimes that is because I do not release, even though I ask for God to take the burden, but sometimes I think it might be because God wants to tone me and train me in areas where I am weak, so He does not lift them the way I want. Just as I want to tone my arms, God wants to tone my heart and soul. He is there helping me grow, and it is more important to Him to teach me than to take away the weight. Do I like it? No. But will I like it when it is over, and I am stronger and more like Jesus? Most definitely!!