Tag Archives: strength

Giants of Faith.

Hebrews 11.1Do you ever look around you and really admire the people that God has placed in your life? Whether they are family, life-long friends or friends He brings you only for a season, look at those people and learn from them and thank God for them. I know I do. As I was reading in Chapter 6 of The Fire of Delayed Answers this week, I was reminded of so many amazing people.

Chapter 11 in the book of Hebrews is often called the “faith chapter”—and for good reason.

Hebrews 11:1-2 says “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Men of God in days of old were famous for their faith.” (The Living Bible)

The rest of the chapter goes on to list giants of faith—Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Rahab, among many others. All of these examples are given as a testimony of faith and an encouragement to those of us who have come behind.

I love the pillars of faith of the Bible. But as I look around me, I see giants of faith every day—people I have known for years, who are incredible people of faith. Many of them have walked, and are still walking, through circumstances that would tear many people apart, or cause them to turn away from God because it seems their struggles never end. Some of these people have endured the same struggles for years.

Illness and disease. Loss—loss upon loss. Estrangement from children. Death of children, of parents. Mental illness. Deep emotional pain. Raising children with special needs. Suicide. Financial struggles. Legal struggles. Joblessness. Divorce. Living in the middle of aging parents and growing children.

But these people, all the ones who are in my mind right now, have never wavered in their faith. They all wait with certainty, with hope, with confident assurance. I think these are the ones Bob Sorge is referring to when he says, “In the face of delayed answers, it takes great faith to persevere in seeking only the face of God—to ‘cry out day and night to Him.’” (Chapter 6, The Fire of Delayed Answers)  And perhaps Jesus would include them in the blessed servants “whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.” (Luke 12:37 NKJV)

These are the ones who are persevering, crying out to God and are given over completely to “vigilant watchfulness” and “intense, prayerful alertness in the Spirit.”  These people are watching and waiting and praying without ceasing in great faith, while they wait with expectation for God to bring them through. All the while, they continue to press forward. It amazes me and blesses me.

There is a great reward for each of them, whether their answers come now or later or in eternity. In the meantime, each of them is an encouragement to me. They minister to me and some of them don’t even know it. I watch them and I learn from their examples of great faith and strength and I say to myself, “THIS is how you walk through the darkest valleys of life. THIS is faith.” And though my heart breaks for their sufferings, and I pray for their deliverance, my heart is also filled with awe and gratitude for their great faith and strength.

Look around you and be encouraged by how the giants of faith in your life walk through the fire of delayed answers.

Thank You, Father, for blessing me with such people and may You act swiftly and send their answers speedily. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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I am excited to be joining in on a weekly book discussion led by Jason Stasyszen  and Sarah Salter. Please visit them to see other posts in response to The Fire of Delayed Answers by Bob Sorge, at Jason’s blog—Connecting to Impact, and Sarah’s blog—Living Between the Lines. And even if you are not reading the book, please feel free to jump into the discussion!

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Getting Fit Fridays {vol. 8}–Yawn.

Whining ahead.

You have been warned.

TRUTH: I woke up tired this morning. Not just tired—sleepy. My knees are achy. My feet hurt. My shoulders are sore. And I am feeling over-extended in most areas of my life. Oh yeah, AND I want to eat a lot of stuff that I do not need to be eating. I did not want to go work out this morning. I was dragging.

But I went anyway…after popping a couple of ibuprofen, that is.

I am thinking that I need to take me some stock out in a certain name-brand manufacturer of said ibuprofen.

Mia Hamm QuoteSo, I went to my exercise class today, feeling tired, but glad to go. After all, it is Friday, which in and of itself is most deserving of the Friday Dance. Music has a way of bringing me out of a funk. After Celebration by Kool and the Gang and Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benetar, I was feeling the moves and feeling a little more perky. Hashtag-doingitanyway.

So, we are in week 8 of this thing. This is the point in time where the novelty of “heck yeah, I’m doing this thing!” begins to wear off. The proverbial honeymoon is over and you must fight, fight, fight the urge to give in to whatever tiredness, overwhelmed-ness or “man, I just want to eat that”-ness that punches you in the face when you get out of bed each day.

Here is where I find myself.

REALITY: This is no short term deal. No matter what the numbers show—or don’t show—I must keep on keeping on. This is for the long haul, if what I am really shooting for is health and fitness and not just some temporary phase I am going through. And regardless of how I am feeling at the moment, I must not let my emotions get the better of me. I have to dig down deep and overrule my innate desire to do just enough to get by.

When I am at the end of my own strength, I have to look to the true source of strength. The Lord God. My creator. The designer of this body I live in. The One who says to me, “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

And so I press on!

Getting Fit Fridays appears weekly here at Red Van Ramblings to chronicle my fitness journey and more importantly, to increase my accountability. Do you need to get back on the wagon? Do you need some help and encouragement? Join with me, if you’d like. We can do it—together.

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Getting Fit Fridays {vol. 2}–Rolling Rolling Rolling

What a week! Getting back into this healthy-mindfulness-about-what-I-am-eating-and-moving-more groove has been interesting.

Getting out and taking a walk is not hard for me to do. In fact, that is the easy part for me. It’s the food part that I find tough.

In order to not be so rigid, my goal for this past week has been to eat HALF of what I had previously been eating…which was a significant amount. A significant amount of mindless, recreational eating had been occurring. I think I’ve done pretty well with eating half this week, so I feel great about that.

It is hard not to get into beating up on yourself when you KNOW what you need to do to get the job done and you have not doing it for the better part of 2 years. So, I just have to tell myself that I am doing something NOW and keep pressing on. As Timon the little meerkat from Lion King would say, “The past is in your behind.” So there! Take THAT, guilt! Boo-Ya!

This week, I joined up with a fantastic group of ladies who are doing a Biggest Loser Challenge. They meet throughout the week for workouts and encouragement and among them is my friend Cris, who I mentioned in volume 1 last week. Let me tell you, these people are not kidding around! It is a workout complete with someone yelling at you, the flipping of a giant tire and running while pulling a tire behind you. Yeah, that’s right.

Thankfully, no one has puked or passed out.

Yet.

This is the kind of commitment that gets results, people! And these are just the kind of folks I need to maintain that accountability that I know I require to be successful. Please enjoy this frightening photo that some lovely person snapped of me in  the midst of my pain:pullingthetire

You’re welcome.

So, the big question: Did I drop some pounds this week? Well, the answer is, I am thinking yes, but I don’t really know. The Biggest Loser Ladies are only weighing in once a month. The objective is health and inches lost and not obsessing about the number on the scale. A good plan. But very hard for me. My mindset is to weigh in once a week at Weight Watchers and measure my success that way. (Don’t get me wrong, I love WW. It is a wonderful program!) I wanted so badly to weigh in yesterday. It was hard to resist, but I did. So I will wait and see what the scale shows and what the measuring tape shows in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, I struggle with my own human weakness and my desire to eat whatever, whenever. I also battle against my physical weakness which says to me, “You can’t do any more squats. You can’t run for one more second.” I know I don’t have that dig down deep willpower. At least, not in my own strength. I must rely on the truth I find in God’s Word (2 Corinthians 12:9). I must rely on and draw from His strength and not any that I may or may not possess on my own.

This is not a sprint, y’all. It’s a lifelong marathon. I. can. do. it! And so can you.

How has your week been?

“God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great. You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.” ~Psalm 18:32-36 NLT

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