With a heavy metal bar uncomfortably resting on your tired shoulders, you squat down one more time as your legs turn to Jell-O. A bead of sweat drips over your eye brow and down your rosy cheek. “I can’t do any more,” you tell him through salty lips. “I didn’t tell you this was going to be easy”, he replies, “but I promise you it’s worth it. Now let’s do one more. You’ve got this!”
Have you ever paid for a personal trainer? If so, you probably understand that in order for muscle to grow, it has to be broken down. You also understand that training sessions aren’t always fun and most definitely not easy, but your trainer probably warned you about that. You understand the feeling of being half way through a work out and wanting to quit. You’ve also experienced your trainer come along side you, encourage you, and even push you; your trainer has never left your side. And after your entire workout plan, made up of several grueling sessions, comes to end, you strangely find yourself thanking your trainer. Why? Because they believed in you when you didn’t believe in yourself. They pushed you to limits you never thought you could reach. And you’re much stronger now than you were when you began. You might even say you’re on a high.
Isn’t that the best feeling…when the hard times are over? When you can look back and see how far you’ve come. At times I find myself wishing life was easier and that horrible things never had to happen. Those times usually occur when I’m stuck in the middle of a hard situation. However, when I experience God carry me through a difficult time and come out victorious, now that’s different. Then I feel empowered, and thankfully in awe of all God taught me and the ways He moved through me.
Maybe like me, your current training session isn’t over yet. You’re smack dab in the middle of the sweat and tears. Don’t lose heart. God will not not leave you. He’s not giving you more than you can handle either. He’s in this with you. And if your current session just came to an end, and you’ve witnessed God’s work and glory, then take Joy in knowing He is faithful. Come alongside someone that can’t yet see the end result and offer words of encouragement or even a hand. After all, we’re all in this together.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.