I have a long-standing on-again, off-again relationship with at-home workouts.
The gym and I are not friends. Finding the time and energy to exercise with three young children is hard enough. Add: drive time and being surrounded by strangers staring at me as I attempt to figure out some newfangled piece of equipment… yeah, I don’t think so.
More recently I began to realize that my relationship with exercise would need to return and stick around since my metabolism decided to clock out when I turned 30, never to be seen again.
I am happy to report that, against all odds, I have found a program I love and have been able to stick with for over a year and a half, and counting.
Last week, as I was sweating it out in the early Georgia morning humidity, my thoughts wandered and I begin to ask myself why this exercise program stuck while others did not withstand the test of time.
After a few minutes, I drew this conclusion:
The instructor is real.
She’s not a “Barbie doll” who spends her entire life eating kale and working out. She’s just your average Jane who desires to live healthy and help others to do the same.
She understands me.
She gets winded. She gets moves mixed up. She has to back down to “low-impact” versions, at times when her muscles fatigue.
She is compassionate.
She lets me have seconds to breathe, and water breaks. She doesn’t scream at me, but gently pushes me forward, while encouraging me to give it my best.
Then my thoughts turned toward Jesus.
I thought about Hebrews 4:15 which says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15
I thought about the week I’d been having, filled with emotions and frustrations.
I thought about the person who had offended me.
I thought about the leader I didn’t want to submit to.
I thought about the people who had walked away.
And I thought about my responses to each of these: not great. Then I thought about the fact that I would rather hide these less-than-Christ-like attitudes, my weaknesses.
I had a poor idea of God for most of my life, and old habits die hard.
I always envisioned Him, up in heaven, with a big red paddle (if your family didn’t have a paddle, you probably weren’t raised in the south).
I came to the conclusion that He was ready to wind up and give me a big ol’ spankin' the moment I were to step out of line in thoughts or deed.
So instead of sharing openly with God I would, and often still do, hide my feelings from Him— as if.
The Bible makes it clear that the Father every knows our every move, our every thought, and part of our being— body, soul and spirit (Psalm 139).
But the good news is it also makes it clear that He is real; He understands us; and He is compassionate.
Lived among us,
And felt every emotion.
He was not immune. He was real.
Jesus understands. He knows how hard it is to bite your tongue, forgive a relative, and submit to authority. He knows what it’s like to be exhausted, used, unappreciated, hungry, angry and hangry.
But He not only understands, He is compassionate. The Bible tells us in Psalm 103:13-14, “As a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.”
So what do we do with these beautiful truths? I know for me, it means no more hiding.
God can’t help what we hide. As we bring our “hidden” fear, anger, frustrations and sadness out before God, He is able to use those experiences meant to tear us down to refine us instead. All we have to do is be willing.
Don’t let shame back you into a corner today. We serve a real, understanding God who understands our weakness and longs to show us compassion.
He is on our team.
He gives us seconds to breathe, water breaks, and gently pushes us forward, while encouraging to give it our best.
We just have to show up.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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