Friday, August 26

Slake the Ache

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. --Philippians 2:12-13

On our anniversary, my husband and I joined a gym. (The funny part is, we never would have found it had we not been on our way to pick up a pizza!) In the short time that we've been members, we've been able to develop a good routine in terms of our workout frequencies. I must say, much to his credit, my husband is doing far better than I am in the self-discipline department. We go because it makes us feel good to know that we're doing something that has life-long benefit for our bodies.

Over the last week or so, my work schedule has forced me to rethink my strategy; I haven't yet figured out how to incorporate my customary work-out times into my week. There have been a few days when I've let myself believe that the self-discipline required to get myself to the gym is too much of an inconvenience. Deep down, I know this isn't so. I know that in the long run I'll be very glad I stuck to a work-out plan, even if it's difficult or inconvenient at times. Even though I've only been absent from the gym for a short while, my body has been physically aching to go back. The only solution for getting rid of that ache is to push myself to return.

I have experienced something similar in my spiritual life. The enemy often likes to convince me that there are more pressing things than reading the Bible or spending time in prayer. I go through periods of tremendous closeness with God and times of wonderful spiritual growth; however, the strong my relationship is with God, the more the enemy would like to derail my efforts. I'm ashamed of the times I let the tyranny of the urgent and my own selfishness get in the way of my walk with God.

Fortunately, these instances are becoming less frequent than they once were. When they do happen, the Holy Spirit stirs in me an ache that pushes me to return to closeness with God. The only way to fulfill that longing is to put aside everything else and spend time with Him--even if I want to think it's not convenient.

I am thankful for the relentless way that God pursues me. He loves me in ways I don't understand. He renews me in strength each day and blesses me in ways I never though possible. I hope that eventually the Holy Spirit will help me completely banish any ideas I have that spending time with God is inconvenient. I look forward to the day when I will be in His presence and my longing ache for closeness with Him will be completely satisfied, uninterrupted and unending.


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