I woke up today feeling a need to revisit this topic, because maybe someone reading this needed this message in particular. If that’s you, all glory to God! God is so good!
Anyone like me ALWAYS feeling the need to “get back in good shape”? There are all these amazingly good diets, fantastic exercise programs, and books that tell you how to put the two together - there are even miracle drugs and plans that say they can do it in 30 days. I’ve tried all of them (…well, not the “miracle” drugs) and MOST of the time I can finish the program or the diet, except when I don’t/can’t. But the thing for me that has “stuck” throughout the years is stretching. There’s just something amazing about it. I’m sure someone reading this is super science-y and can tell us all the details of WHY it feels good to stretch… I know, I know, endorphins or dolphins or whatever… I prefer to - in the words of the great Iris Dement - let the mystery be. Suffice it to say, I LOVE a good stretch.
The thing is, sometimes the stretch really hurts. Especially something called the IT band. That thing is always tight for me. I can’t ever get it to loosen up. Holy Moly it’s painful to stretch that bad boy. I’m sure if I stretched it more often or something it would be easier, but every time I stretch that particular muscle/tendon/ligament thing it’s like a fire in my leg. It attaches to your back side and runs down the back of your thigh. It’s how you move your leg forward. Apparently…it’s important?
So, I’ve started trying something new when I stretch it.
I breathe. Deep. Intentionally. Slowly.
As I stretch, I try to find my comfort in the uncomfortable.
David, a young boy, a courier for Saul, was the only one brave enough to take on Goliath. That giant was tall, intimidating, and bent on destroying the people of Israel.
1 Samuel 17: 32-33
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine;
your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him;
you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
But here’s the thing. When I read that story, David is comfortable in the uncomfortable. I see that. It’s clear. There is SO MUCH MAYHEM around this. (This is a quick read friends, go take a second and read 1 Samuel 17 - link is at the end of this. I’ll be right here waiting for you when you come back.) David is confident and comfortable. But NOT because of his own confidence - his confidence is based on something much stronger. Listen to this:
1 Samuel 17: 45-47
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
This battle friends, is the LORD’S. Whatever it is you are facing, it’s the Lord’s battle to fight. So in the stretch, in the uncomfortable, find strength, comfort and confidence in what God has taken on for you. Have comfort in what God will do. Find peace in what the LORD God is going to bring you through, victorious.
Breathe. Deep. Intentionally. Slowly.
In the stretch, find comfort in the uncomfortable.
Because this battle is the Lord’s.