Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spiritual Exercise

My normal weekday routine is to be rousted from a deep sleep by my husband, quickly wash my face to get my blood flowing and stagger into the living room for my first cup of coffee and watch the news.  This morning I was greeted by the devastating picture of the most vicious tornado I've ever seen ravaging Joplin, Missouri.  I thought, "Oh no.  Not again!"  This seems to be the year of tornadoes and it is only half over.  I finished watching the news and all the while was envisioning what would happen if my home and family was to suffer like this large town which was now 30% destroyed. 

I thought of silly things like how upset I would be if my sewing room with all my fun stuff was destroyed by water and debris.  All of my furniture and household items..... vehicles.....
I realized how dependent we are on things to bolster us and complete our life.

Then this morning as I was driving to work I was listening to Joy FM and the DJ/preacher was talking about our walk with the L-rd and how blessings are not necessarily comfort things and most times do not come wrapped in pretty packages.  He mentioned how we don't like to quote scriptures about suffering nor think of suffereing as being a natural part of our life that G-d uses to make us stronger.

He compared our spiritual walk with physical exercise.  People brag about their strenuous exercise routine that really gives them a hard workout and tears at their body viciously but these people see that pain as good - a necessary component of good health and fitness.  Really we should look at our spiritual battles the same way.  There is a saying, "that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger."  That is never more true than when we look at spiritual battles we've overcome.  When I refer to spiritual battles I am referring to walking through the normal trials of life without wavering in our faith.  Not giving ourselves over to how the world copes through strife, vile language, and vices of various sorts. 

G-d can and will get us through our hardest trials.  And we can strengthen each other by sharing our victories and empathizing with others who are struggling.  We can also help by lending financial support and banding together to help those in need and are in our sphere of influence.  Recently our community donated almost $150,000 to the tornado victims in one small town in Alabama. 

After Hurricane Andrew, I witnessed thousands of people giving all sorts of aid to the victims in Miami.  It was tremendous.  I was comforted by that because it reminded me that if I was to go through some horrible devastation such as what just happened in Missouri, I know that there would be others G-d would send to help me also. 

We are not in control of our life here - this planet is not our home.  Yeshua said He goes to make a home for us - a home where moth and disasters cannot destroy.  But while we wait for Him to come get us and take us there, we need to endure this life and run the race that is set before us.  We can do that with Yeshua as our guide.  He has left us His comforter in the meantime and He is always only a prayer away.  As we walk through the trials of this life, let us brag about our suffering instead of complaining.  Just like fitness gurus brag about their great workouts we can brag about how strong we are becoming spiritually but we will boast about our G-d. 

Psalm 44:8 "In G-d we make our boast all day long, and we will praise Your Name forever."

Psalmn 52:8-9  "But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of G-d; I trust in G-d's unfailing love for ever and ever.  For what You have done I will always praise You in the presence of Your faithful people.  And I will hope in Your Name for Your Name is good."

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