Monday, February 4, 2008

His Will Shapes My Life

I have to chuckle at observing my life over the past 4 weeks. It is almost a surreal experience of all the various trials that have taken place; some big, some small. But they have been coming in rapid succession. I commented to a friend and to my husband that I feel like I have been enrolled into a training program and my Trainer is working me very intensely.

Well, I have come to the conclusion that I am in an intense training program in “God’s Gym” with God as my Trainer. Although each training session has not been the easiest or most pleasant emotionally, each one has afforded an opportunity for me to look up to my Trainer and trust Him to show me exactly how to approach and deal with the task at hand. There hasn’t been any need to excessively fret or be anxious because my Trainer can be trusted to take me through it all, step by step. He assures me that WHATEVER comes next, HE will give me HIS strength to endure; and to endure well and grow stronger.

You see, “God’s Gym” is very different than a worldly gym. At the worldly gym you must rely on your own physical strength and be limited to do only as much as you can physically handle. In “God’s Gym”, God is with you at ALL times and gives you the strength to bear up under every strain. HIS strength gives you the strength to be strong; to stand firm with your legs and to hold your arms up and bear the weight.

I do not work out at the worldly gym. In fact, I have no desire to work out and build up my physical muscles with extra exercise. A walk here or there with my dear doggy or a bit of jumping on the kids’ trampoline when the weather is nice is fine for me. My focus of training is not with my physical body, it’s with my spiritual nature. The focus of my “workouts” has to do with soul and spirit. Daily, I am remaining in very close contact with my spiritual Trainer and allowing Him to make me strong. As He takes me through daily life, He teaches me many things and makes me spiritually muscular.

There is another different aspect of “God’s Gym”: I never get the choice of what machine, or what exercise, or what weights I will work with next. My Trainer, He does all the choosing because HE knows absolutely and positively and without question what is best for me to grow stronger. My part is not to complain or get all flustered about His choices for me; my part is actually very simple. My part is to relax and surrender to His care and to implicitly trust that HE will provide the instruction and strength needed for the training.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction…that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead;” (2 Corinthians 1:3-9)

Will I trust Him to have His perfect way with my life or not? Do I believe God will have HIS will with me or not? Will I trust God to fulfill HIS dreams and HIS will for me? For ALL of us?

“He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah... Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life And does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance. (Psalm 66:7-12)

The following song touched my heart deeply a few days ago. I thought it was very appropriate for the “training regimen” I’ve experienced recently. You can click on the following link to hear the song,

A shapeless piece of steel, that's all I claim to be
This hammer pounds to give me form, this flame, it melts my dreams
I glow with fire and fury, as I'm twisted like a vine
My final shape, my final form I'm sure I'm bound to find

So dream a little, dream for me in hopes that I'll remain
And cry a little, cry for me so I can bear the flames
And hurt a little, hurt for me my future is untold
But my dreams are not the issue here, for they, the hammer holds

And the water, it cools me gray, and the hurt's subdued somehow
I have my shape, this sharpened point, what is my purpose now?
And the question still remains, what am I to be?
Perhaps some perfect piece of art displayed for all to see

So dream a little, dream for me in hopes that I'll remain
And cry a little, cry for me so I can bear the flames
And hurt a little, hurt for me my future is untold
But my dreams are not the issue here, for they, the hammer holds

The hammer pounds again, but flames I do not feel
This force that drives me, helplessly, through flesh and wood reveals
A burn that burns much deeper, it's more than I can stand
The reason for my life was to take the life of a guiltless man

So dream a little, dream for me in hopes that I'll remain
And cry a little, cry for me so I can bear the pain
And hurt a little, hurt for me, my future is so bold
But my dreams are not the issue here, for they, the hammer holds

This task before me may seem unclear
But it, my Maker holds

(The Hammer Holds by Bebo Norman)

I am surrendered to HIS dreams for me, HIS will for me, HIS ways over me, and HIS strength to make me stand and bear up under the weights. Christ gave His life for me that God may have HIS perfect way with me; I will honor that sacrifice with every trial I am called to endure.

In His most capable arms and filled with overflowing joy about Him being King over my life…

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