27
Jul
18

Daily Lifting

Weight liftingA couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were doing some landscaping.

There were some new bushes to plant, but in order to do so, holes first had to be dug.

Normally I don’t mind digging holes… especially if they are for the purpose of receiving a new, decorative plant.

On this occasion, however, my hole digging encountered an obstacle. There was a big rock buried about six inches below the surface that had to be removed before further digging was possible.

Did I mention the rock was big? It was actually capital B-I-G big!

I would have preferred to just go find another place to dig and leave the rock where it was, but in this case “another place” was not really an option. Symmetry demanded it go right THERE.

And so I dug around it as much as I could, but then had to try and reach under it and just pull it out with my bare hands.

It was danged heavy and required a lot of grunting, tugging, sweating, and praying. In the end, I was finally able to free the rock from its comfortable resting place.

Planting could now commence.

In the process of this effort, I noticed something very interesting. I noticed that the final effort to lift the rock out of the hole required some real strength. And because I am a guy who follows a regular regimen of exercise that includes resistance training (i.e., weight lifting), I had the strength necessary to lift out the rock.

On a day-to-day basis, however, my work doesn’t require me to lift a lot of rocks. (Pastors usually try to give jobs like that to church committees.)HOWEVER… without the routine of working out and steadily building up my strength, I would not have been prepared for that one, extraordinary moment.

I think it is safe to say that we can see the same principle at work in regard to the way we develop our connection with God.

Day in and day out we may not face situations that require an intense, concentrated, super-powerful connection with the Source of All That Is. We may not be faced with decisions that might alter the course of our – or someone else’s – lives… we may not be desperately in search of “the peace that passes understanding” in order to make it to and through the next moment.

But if we are not routinely and consistently engaging in the practices that habituate us to the sound of God’s voice and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we might be just as unprepared for that kind of spiritual “heavy lifting” as I would have been to physically lift that rock in my garden.

To clarify: I am not saying that God’s help and presence are conditional or that God ignores your cry if you aren’t a daily pray-er. I am merely trying to reiterate the insight we find in James 4:8 – “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”

I’d like to say more on the subject, but it’s a great day outside and lawn work awaits.

 

Abundant blessings;


4 Responses to “Daily Lifting”


  1. July 27, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    So true! Through daily prayer we can develop spiritual muscles without knowing it. One of my prayers is, “Thank You for emotions that confirm the truth, and thank You that Your truth stands on its own and needs no confirmation from me or anyone else.” It’s a daily ritual, more for reminding myself when the need arises that my feelings can lie, and it’s OK, I just need to move on. But the other day when I received a rejection letter from a large publisher that had seemed most promising, as I was grasping for that truth and bracing myself for the emotional punch in the gut – it never came! I thought, “Hmm .. could I be GROWING?” As I thought about the possibility that God may have lifted me to a new height, where the tyranny of Man’s opinions can no longer torment me, I actually got more than peaceful – I got downright giddy! So, the daily reminding myself that His Word is truth, not my emotions, may have actually affected my emotions.

  2. 3 Warren Molton
    July 28, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Line by line you are always interesting. Thanks for this one.

    Warren

  3. July 30, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    That’s a great analogy. Of course, the best reason to engage in regular prayer and Bible reading is because we love Him and want to stay in close communication; however, on those days when we don’t “feel like it,” remembering your analogy can give us another reason to persist.


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