Monday, November 5, 2012

Stopping and Starting

Aren't you glad God has a sense of humor.  We are made in His image, and we all possess a sense of humor, well most of us anyway :~).  So you know He has to have one.  I heard a preacher say once, you know He has a sense of humor because He created men and women so differently!  Have you ever had something happen that you know could have only been orchestrated by God.  It could be miraculous or just plain funny!  Well I have had plenty of moments and one such event happened this weekend.  It was so funny, I couldn't stop laughing and I knew only God could make it happen...

I have a  bad habit, well in all honesty I have a few, but this one is something I have recently been trying to change.  I love to exercise, and, in the next breath... I hate to exercise also.   I start and stop all through the year.  It feels so good to get into a consistent exercise routine. I feel better about myself and can feel the benefits that come with exercise.  But, it feels good to skip the routine every now and then.  And suddenly every now and then becomes weeks, and there I am... right back to not exercising at all.   I am not proud of it, but I just keep stopping and starting every exercise plan I start.  I have been this way since college!

So this weekend I was trying to start again.  Starting can be so difficult.  The time.  The energy.  The effort.  The willpower.  So much has to be in place and arranged just to get in a few minutes of walking or an exercise video.  But as I lay on my floor after stretching, I started feeling bummed out.  I thought of all my starts and stops.  My beginnings then only to fail AGAIN.  I was feeling sorry for myself.  So, I cried.  I then began to pray.  I literally said outloud, "God, does the Bible even say anything about exercise?  I know we are suppose to take care of our bodies, but do You say anything about actual exercise in Your Word?"  I felt better after my little pity party, and I hopped up to proceed with the day.

Fast forward a few hours later, and I sit down with Bible in hand.  I was very blessed to have a devotion printed in a small daily devotion publication for Oct, Nov, and Dec.  I have been reading along as part of my quiet time.  I turned to that day and there it was..."Fit for Life" by Lisa Crayton.

"You have got to be kidding me."...I said outloud for nobody but God to hear!

I laughed so hard.  Only God could have allowed me to suffer and cry out to Him, ask those specific questions, and then two hours later put this in my hand.

I begin to read the suggested verses, 1 Timothy 4:6-16.  There it was in black and white..."But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.  For bodily exercise profiteth little:  but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."  1 Tim 4:7-8

I knew many books of the Bible spoke of strength, and I knew Paul wrote of running the race, but there it was...the actual word "exercise".  My KJV Women's Study Bible says this about the verse, "For physical exercise is of limited value, but godliness, the result of spiritual exercise, has unlimited value, since it brings blessings for both now and eternity."

So am I going to try to keep up with my exercise routine?  Yes.  I don't think God was trying to tell me it was ok not to exercise.  I do think He wants to make sure I am not starting and stopping my spiritual exercise.  There again, sitting down with God in His Word and praying takes time, effort, energy and willpower to have that One on one time with our Savior, but this is must for living the best life He has for us.  Yes there are many proven positive effects from exercise, but I can guarantee the positive effects of reading my Bible and praying are much greater for me.

Things might happen, and we might skip a day of reading our Bible, but let's not ever make it two days and never ever a week.  Stay in His Word everyday!  Our quiet times will aid us in fighting the temptations we face, brighten our outlook on life, provide wisdom, strengthen our faith, revive us, comfort us, and the list goes on and on and on!

Today's Verse
"Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."  1 Chronicles 16:11

Let's leave the stopping and starting behind and continually seek His face!

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