Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just Keep Going





“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
 not lacking anything.”  James 1:4


Dear Adina,
I feel for you. I hope we meet in Heaven so we can talk about how good our Lord was, even in the midst of our wanderings. I used to look down on you crazy Israelites and think, “Why can’t you just obey and get it together?” Sorry. I had no idea.
Your 2013 Gentile sister,
Robbie


I imagined an Israelite woman in the wilderness, wandering after leaving the slavery of Egypt. I named her Adina. She’d only known the slavery life and now she was on a trip to the Promised Land. She’d seen God’s power and actually walked through the Red Sea as it was miraculously parted. But then, the pain of wandering around the wilderness became a heavy burden. The pain was excruciating. She started thinking about Egypt. The pain of slavery was horrible but it was comfortable. It was all she knew. Maybe she should go back…

Almost 60 pounds gone. I’ve never lost this much weight before. Never have I possessed so much energy and felt such contentment with how I am treating my body.

Yet…

The pain is excruciating. I have such a long way to go. The Promised Land sounds great, but in order to get there I will have to face endless visits to the gym which always make me hurt. I will have to say no over and over again to the delights of sugary desserts and fried foods. Was being 60 pounds heavier that bad?

My friend Cheryl shared a song with me by Sara Groves called “Painting Pictures of Egypt.” The song talks about this kind of journey. These lines from that song reflect my heart:

The future feels so hard and I want to go back
But the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I’ve learned
Those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.

I have to go on. I have to persevere.

And I’m not alone.

The other day I was on my way to a personal training appointment and I prayed something like this: God, You do miracles, I know You do. If you wanted to, You could come to the gym with me and take away my pain. You could make it where it didn’t hurt so much.

What I heard in response: Why don’t you take today to thank Me for every muscle that aches and for your heart when you think it’s going to beat right out of your chest. Appreciate your body today.

So I tried. I prayed through every drop of sweat and every horrible burn. At one point, Mona, my trainer, said, “We are now off to the stair-master. Your favorite!” (Sarcasm)

I whispered “Lord Jesus help me.” Mona replied with an evil little laugh. “Oh, he can’t help you here, honey.”

It was a joke, I know, but I was SO in tune with God’s presence I snapped back, “Oh yes, He can! In fact, He is with me every step of the way in here. And there’s this huge body-builder angel who helps me lift things, too.”

Obviously taken aback, Mona held up both hands and said, “Okay, okay.”

So I, like Adina, am wandering in the wilderness. God has pulled me out of slavery, but I am not in the Promised Land yet. I am not alone though. The Spirit is with me and has even assigned George, (my name for that body-building angel) to give me a hand.

If you are in any kind of situation that needs a bit of perseverance, be encouraged friend and don’t give up. Don’t go back. Take His courage and keep going.

Just keep going. 

4 comments:

Danica/Dream said...

Robbie, you inspire me with your willingness to push through the pain. I'm so proud of you for how hard you're working even though it hurts.

Cheryl Barker said...

Way to go, Robbie! Keep up the hard work. I think we all have situations in our lives where we need this kind of encouragement to press on!

Robbie Iobst said...

Danica, your words mean a lot to me since to me, you are the Queen of Perseverance. I've learned a lot from watching you. :)

Robbie Iobst said...

Amen, Cheryl!! :)