Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Exercising your faith muscle

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Job 22, 23, 24

Job 23:8-10 (NIV)

8 “But if I go to the east, He is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find Him. 9 When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him; when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him. 10 But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Good morning!

I had forgotten how long a city block can be, especially when I’m walking and not riding in an air-conditioned automobile. When I worked in downtown St. Louis many years ago, I used to walk for exercise during my lunch hours. I wore a pedometer on my skirt band and would log the miles as I took a lunch time sprint. I could do 2.5 miles in about 40 minutes, and that was pushing it in a skirt and jacket. I learned if I was going to take a hike at lunch, I needed a change of clothes for the afternoon. One of my favorite places to walk was the arch grounds near the river. The sidewalks were level and wide, and much of the area was tree-lined, so it seemed to be a bit cooler than on the hard concrete of those long city blocks.

Last Saturday morning, I was up early as I walked the city sidewalks with thousands of my brothers and sisters (approximately 66,000 of them) who had come downtown to walk and run in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I love seeing the faces of the survivors at this race. Their holy glow speaks louder than the constant chatter I am surrounded by. I smiled at one radiant survivor, being pushed along in her wheelchair by her cute little granddaughter. She had very little hair left from the treatments she was receiving. She looked weak, yet resilient. As the tune “I Will Survive” played over the intercom at the starting gate, this woman of faith was celebrating her very existence. She had made it to the starting gate, and was happy to be there. The look on this survivor’s face reminds me once again, that every human heart can experience amazing freedom, especially when we are pushing ourselves to live!

The survivors were exercising their faith muscles on Saturday. One little eight-year-old girl walked with a prosthetic leg in the race. I wondered if she knew just how much faith she was sharing by choosing to take a stroll that day. When we purposefully elect to exercise our faith and put a little muscle behind it, life happens in the most miraculous way! We can be a source of encouragement to the ones who cannot see the top of their mountain because the valley is so low. Through our actions and reactions, we can be a source of encouragement to each other, extending our hands to a brother or sister who needs a lift up and out of the trench they seem to be stuck in. Is your faith muscle in good working condition today, or is it weakened by lack of hope?

Job was looking for the Lord to the east and west, the north and south. He couldn’t find Him anywhere. Yet, through faith, Job knew God was there. He wasn’t sure exactly how his life would end, but he knew that God knew and that was enough to keep him out there, seeking the Lord’s face. Job had the assurance that can only come through a deep and abiding relationship with his Savior. No matter what the test, he would shine like gold before the Lord at the finish line.

Jesus Christ stands at the finish line of our life with His arms outstretched, waiting to receive us. For all who believe He is the only Son of the Great I Am, and call upon His name for forgiveness of sin and grace, we can begin a new race with Him at our side! Our finish line becomes the starting gate to an eternal life shared in the light of His amazing mercy, grace and love.

As the survivors crossed the finish line on Saturday, they were greeted by the loud and boisterous cheers of the crowd. They received roses and hugs from those awaiting their arrival. Job knew that at the end of his race, he would be greeted by the God he had come to love, and he would hear the applause and the shouts of his children who had gone on before him.

This morning, I am choosing to exercise my faith muscle. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt there is more to this life than what I can see with my physical eyes. I know the Lord Jesus Christ is standing at the finish line, reaching out to me in love. When life gets especially difficult, I pray that I may have the confidence of Job, knowing God has not abandoned me to be shattered and scattered in the wind and rain. He is here! He is alive! And that is more than enough to help me get out bed and stretch my faith muscle today.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding


Pray for: the faith of Job! When we are struggling to survive, remember that faith is the certainty of all things hoped for, evidence of things yet to be seen. Cry out to Jesus today, and live!


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