Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Something to Gain from Pain

The sprain couldn't be ignored. I'd have to stay off my left ankle for a few days. Ice bags, an ace wrap, and a gel brace became my constant companions. The pain in my ankle paled in comparison to the aching muscles in my back. I hadn't injured my back, but obviously, when I hobbled around I was compensating with muscles I didn't normally use to walk.

Oh how this physical lesson has played out over and over in my spiritual life! When God puts his finger on something that needs attention, quite often He requires me to use spiritual 'muscles' that need to be strengthened. And the 'workout' leaves me sore!

His Word may remind me that an attitude isn't right. I've become critical. Complaining is second nature. I read about the children of Israel who were miraculously delivered from the hand of an evil Pharaoh and the land of Egypt. I shake my head in astonishment, as the story unfolds - clearly the Lord has led them out of bondage, yet when they see that Pharaoh and his army are pursuing them, they lash out at Moses. "And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness," (Exodus 14:11-12; KJV).

How ungrateful can these people be? Then comes the nudge. The still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. I've brought you out of bondage too - why is it that you're complaining about your current circumstances? Ouch! Okay, what do I need to learn here? Time to search out the passages that will correct the problem. It doesn't take long to find verses that deal with my attitude without mincing words, "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world," (Philippians 2:14-15).

Time to exert those spiritual 'muscles' that have atrophied. Time to get back to the reason why God saved me in the first place - to bring honor and glory to Him. Not to live a problem-free life that's self-serving. The Philippians passage gets my heart back in gear. When I approach every situation with the right attitude, and avoid complaining, it's UNNATURAL. That's just what the Lord wants. Others will stop and take notice of my positive response, will realize that there's something different about me, and will be pointed to Him.

With my eyes on the Truth, concentrating on one situation at a time, slowly but surely my spiritual 'muscles' gain strength. The process is often slow and painful, but the results are worth the effort - a life that reflects the Lord Jesus Christ!

What spiritual 'muscle' needs to be strengthened in your life? Search for verses that apply to your need and begin applying them to your life today!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your still, small voice that loving shows me areas that need attention. Help me to obey Your Truth and begin exercising my spiritual 'muscles' so others will see You. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Such a good post and poke! Ouch! I'm constantly on a new spiritual workout, finding new muscles to be excercised. Like a physical workout, I'm sore--but in a good way. I love building up new muscle and feeling the strength, then smiling when others notice the changes.

  2. Oh boy, this was a good one for me Maria . . . I woke up this morning with aches and pains from a kick-boxing class yesterday . . . reminding myself that when I feel the pain . .. I KNOW there is gain! (Especially when I feel it in those hard to burn fat places!) Why can't I remember this constantly in my spiritual life??? I felt SO good that I had a little "pain" this morning . . .knowing that it was for my body's good! I need to apply this to my spiritual life in a BIG way . . .thank you for encouraging me!

    How's your daughter doing?? Praying always!

  3. I like the idea of us exercising spiritual muscles.

  4. Ouch! No wonder my spiritual muscles have been so sore. God has really been working some new ones lately. I'm having to lean on Him more and more as I hobble my way through to His glory!

  5. I'm feel stretched in too many ways to name. I know the Lord is simply preparing me for His work.

    I'm in awe that He would choose me to choose Him!

    Use me Lord, in your service.

  6. Very thought provoking. I'm sure I have many spiritual muscles that need to be improved. Thanks for the nudge.

  7. Oh my, I have many spiritual muscles in need of training. Confessing to be a work in progress. :) Hope you are feeling better!

  8. I'm sorry to hear of your injury, Maria. Praying for a full and speedy recovery for you dear friend. I'm encouraged by your desire to be receptive to God's nudges and pokes, and reflect Him in all you do.
    Your Aussie friend
    Dotti :)

  9. I am sorry for your injury.
    May God recover you from this injury very soon.
    I also praying for you.

    Rutherford Fitness classes