But this day I kept pushing on. I had i-heart radio playing K-LOVE on my phone, so I was all set with Christian music and inspiration. I also continued to talk with God, my own little private time.
Now, my idea was to walk to the fork in the road, take a left, and then see how far I went – whether I turned down the first street for a shorter walk or kept going to make it a longer one would be decided in time. There was a route I would work up to, once the warmer days of Spring or Summer came, but until then I was going to leave that alone. As I walked along the road, heading toward the fork, I tried to push aside a “little voice” telling me to continue on. It was telling me to go beyond this fork and walk to the road I wanted to go to when it was warm. I didn’t want to do it, but I realized who was telling me this and decided not to fight it. I knew that if I turned when I wanted to that I wouldn’t feel right about it. A blatant disobeying.
So, when I reached that fork I continued on. It was cold, but I was kept warm most of the way. I reached that road and then I heard, “turn around.” It didn’t feel right, and though I would have loved to, I turned down the street and continued on. That felt right. Down that road, then left to follow the next. The next question was which road do I travel next? Cut the walk short, or go all the way and make a full five mile walk? I waited for the Lord to direct my steps. I put my trust in Him, and let Him guide me. As I got closer to the first road I heard, “go this way.” Not knowing if it were true or if it was just me saying it, I asked. “Is that you or is it me?” “It’s me,” I heard, so I turned. As I was walking down the road, my legs still sore from being used more than they had for a long time, Mandisa’s song “Stronger” came on and I had to laugh. I know that it’s not about physical weakness and pain, but at that moment that’s exactly what it was for me.
“When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me, this is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger”
All I kept thinking was that yes, I was hurting now, but if I continued the pain would go away. And I knew that I was working to become stronger. Stronger physically, and also stronger spiritually. In my journey to a healthier me I am working on my walk with Him, and here He was telling me that if I kept going I would be stronger. He was going to be with me all along the way. He just had a sense of humor about it.
This also reminds me of a verse I tend to repeat throughout my thirty minutes of exercise each morning: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). It seems to help, especially through the really difficult parts, and I truly believe it when I say it.
We need to remember that no matter what we’re going through – whether physical, mental, or spiritual- that we rely on Him to strengthen us.
Dear Lord, thank you for giving me your strength, for showing me that if I just rely on you no matter how hard things may get you will make me stronger.