God knows how to simulate mountains in your life.
A stationary bike doesn’t go anywhere. There are no hills to conquer, no tough terrain to blaze, and no flat roads to catch a break. On a stationary bike you are in an enclosed room and the bikes don’t move one inch from the line on the floor, there’s no down hill free spin, no risks and no real changing scenery, yet with one turn of a knob the instructor knows how to create mountains. She knows how to start the uphill climb and how to make it steep and she knows how to get the riders over that mountain. She listens for heavy breathing and is able to gauge how much more is needed. The more tension we give the knob, the steeper the climb, the more engaged our muscles become just as if we are climbing a real mountain. Muscles don’t know the difference and for them there is no difference because regardless of the topography they are working through the tension, they are learning to persevere. My body responds to the resistance, the results are the same as if I were on the road outside, strength, endurance, increased heart rate and sweating, without ever leaving the YMCA and without the added stress of an unpredictable environment.
God is our instructor. Our creator pedals the problems of life with us and coaches us through every moment. He knows how and at what moment to add tension and just how much to add to simulate a tough climb. Spiritual strength, resilience and endurance are tested trained and approved. The trials we go through in life do not present a danger to our salvation, but they do present opportunities to grow in our faith and relationship with Christ Jesus.
What the tension knob may look like on a stationary bike is not what the “tension knob” looks like in the spiritual life. In life, It may look like, an angry outburst, jealousy, offense, complaining, pride, worry, fear, the disagreeable child, sickness, grief, traffic when your late, not getting your way, your promotion, frustration or rejection. Typically these are short lived outbursts of emotion. These tension triggers and knobs are social and emotional strains and pressures. When they sneak up, know the tension knob just increased a full turn up and you must pedal hard and breathe to make it over that mountain. The best remedy is prayer, trusting God and keep moving don’t give in to the anger, the jealousy, the fear – move past it. Remember No discipline seems comfortable in the moment. We assume discipline from the Lord is a rebuke but sometimes it’s our own strong emotion that can lead to sin if not mastered. The best way to master it, is to acknowledge it and counteract the resistance. Just as a tough climb can lead to defeat or victory depending on your response. When you experience these things, think of that tension knob on a stationary bike. It’s there to test, to push, to build us up, its hard and sometimes it hurts, but it will not last forever.
The instructor knows when to release the tension and catch a break. These are the sweet moments in life; an answered prayer, a glimpse of joy, a peaceful event, a loving relationship, a timely vacation, a healthy report, a good grade, a victory a word from the scripture – we could ride that all day, all week- But if we only rode the flat, easy paths without resistance guess what? No muscle, no cardio health, no fat burn and no change.
All things living and alive needs resistance to be birthed, change and grow. Think of the tiny opening of a birth canal, a butterfly’s, chrysalis, a bird’s egg, or a seed pushing its way through the soil. Its almost as if the pressure from the battle stimulates the response to LIVE!
This is how I see life right now, a blend of tensions that simulate mountainous terrain so that I may be built strong, learn to endure and persevere and grow up into the Lord.
God knows what you and I need and he is well aware of how to simulate the mountainous terrain in life- where we are right now. God doesn’t have to bring us to the climb, he brings the climb to us. And there just may be a day when you are on the real mountain and the strength you gained from the tension in your life’s moments will carry you right through that hilly place without breaking a sweat.
James 1:2-4 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything