Exercising is hard.
I don’t need to tell you. I’m sure you’ve thought the same thing before.
But I’m doing it.
Most of the time, I have someone exercising with me, but every now and then, our schedules creep up and one of us can’t make it.
Yesterday, I was alone, going to the trail and walking/jogging for about 45 minutes.
I was ramping up my routine, doubling my jogging. But being overweight often causes my back to hurt.
Halfway through, my back was hurting so much that I could barely walk, but I kept going.
Very quickly, my shins and ankles started hurting much worse than my back, to the point where I couldn’t feel my back pain anymore.
And I found myself thanking God. While the leg pain hurt more, the back pain was keeping me from exercising. I could still move with the leg pain. It was pain that I was happy for. Pain I needed.
This is often the hardest thing to understand about God and our relationship with him.
Sometimes, God lets us experience pain.
But we often misinterpret that pain as God punishing us or God leaving us.
That is never the case. God never leaves us. God doesn’t punish us (at least, not without a purpose).
God lets us experience pain and the consequences of our own actions. It shapes us. It grows us. It challenges us.
From there, it’s up to us. Are we going to let this pain defeat us or are we going to rely on God’s strength to push through the pain? That is ultimately the choice we make in any painful situation, whether we caused it ourselves or if someone else hurt us.
We hate it. We hate pain. But if we make it through, we become better, stronger people.
I’ve always considered myself a good guy. I know anyone who knows me would agree. But I’ve made some selfish bad mistakes which resulted in several years of pain, emotional and physical.
And not just pain for me, but my actions caused my wife and my family to hurt too.
There were times when I thought the pain was too much to handle. Too much to bear. Too much to survive.
But, I found the strength to trust God. I made my amends. I fought to right my wrongs. And, because of this, here I am today, in the best place I’ve ever been, with more hope and determination than I’ve ever had.
Through God’s strength and my devotion, I’ve been able to clean out all the crap from my past and start to grow in a way I never have before.
And now, I’m tackling what I call my “last great addiction,” my weight. And even though it hurts, God blesses me when I rely on him to push through the pain.
I’m still growing on the inside, hoping to shrink on the outside.
If God can bring me through all the pain of my past, he can certainly bring me through an exercise routine! I just need to let him be my strength in tough times.