AKA - Commitment. - Sometimes I just don't have what it takes.
I woke this morning muscles sore, lungs congested, sinuses clogged and the beginnings of a headache in my left temple.
Sounds like the onset of a cold when I write it, doesn't it? It's not. It's just the result of over extending my muscles via exercise this past weekend and an outdoor yard sale with lots of pollen blowing around.
After pushing sleep aside and becoming fully 'Hal' this morning, I lay there trying to convince myself that perhaps it would be best to forego the morning workout because of how I felt. After all, the muscles were complaining, the lungs were wheezing and the head surely wasn't going to appreciate the extra blood pressure.
So I opened my Bible for the daily devotion and turned to John 19.
In short, John 19, tells of Christ before Pilate, His flogging, the jeering of the people for His crucifixion and finally of His death upon the cross.
After my devotion I searched for my sweats, which, praise God, are a lot bigger than they used to be.
I climbed onto the exercise bike out of sheer obedience to the commitment I made some 9 months ago. I set the timer to forty minutes and began my journey to no where better than the throne of God in prayer for the people He's given me to love.
At some point along the journey, despite the sub 60 degree weather (I know, I know, but I'm a Florida boy with orange juice in my veins), the muscles found joy in the motion, the lungs cleared in the bright morning air and the headache became a fading memory.
In making my decision to follow through with my morning exercise I was reminded again of John 19. Christ knew what was before Him when He chose to come to earth as my redeemer. He knew the struggle and pain it was going to bring Him. That night in Gethsemane, I imagine His spirit was sore pressed. Weary even, with the weight of the task before Him and with the knowledge of the pain that awaited as He followed through with the commitment He made to the Father.
The exercise is a minuscule thing compared to Christ's choice to follow through in obedience to the Father, but fourteen miles later it reminds me that much of the difficulty in completing the tasks that the Lord gives us is not in the task itself, but in the starting. Once we decide to start and accept the task, the grace is given to us to see it through.
How many times in our walk have we looked at some task before us and groaned or even thought it impossible? How many times does what's before us cause us to cower? How many times have we thought, 'I just don't feel like striving and exercising my faith in this situation?'
The Father provided that grace for Christ before those who wanted Him dead and that same grace is provided to we partakers of the Holy Spirit.
When we make that choice to step out in faith and exercise those spiritual muscles we will find that His grace is more than sufficient. I know it doesn't always seem so in the face of the beast before us, but when the time comes and we are able to look back, I am assured that we will see how the Father supplied our strength for that difficult task; that situation impossible for us but not for Him.
And we will find that coming through it, we have matured closer to that perfection that He envisions for us in that City which awaits.
The Great Separation continues.