With muscles aching and breathing labored, I began to unpack the streamers and balloons. I was getting ready for my pity party. It started during my workout. I was with a group of people, participating in a "boot camp" style of working out. I was rotating through different exercises, led by a "platoon leader" and just about killing myself with exhaustion. I appreciate the results of working out, but I hate the process.
"Why does everything have to be so hard for me?" I grumbled to myself. Everything about getting through this trial is hard. Working out is hard. Getting up is hard. Sleeping through the night is hard. Staying organized is hard. My list went on and on. The only thing I could really say wasn't hard was eating, and that was only because I had Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies in the house, but even so, resisting to eat the whole box, was hard. And so the party began, and I was well on my way with noise makers and party games before long.
Then in the nick of time, thankfully, the truth of God was hand delivered to me by two people; nothing is wasted in God's economy. And the still small voice of God gently nudged my stubborn heart and said, "Therefore do not lose heart."
Now where was that verse? I picked up my bible and searched it out. 2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18 says "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
I felt as if I was losing heart. I wanted to give up. Throw in the towel. Jump ship. (Although I wasn't sure where I would jump to.) The truth is, we all are getting older day by day but more so, I also was feeling the outward physical effects of wasting away as I was enduring a trial for a long period of time. I was tired, weary, even aching. Much like I feel during my workout.
The verses encourage us, though, that, in the power of the Holy Spirit, our inner being is being renewed day by day. When I workout, I do not see the benefit of what is happening each time I lift a weight or run or row. The great amount of physical exertion and strenuous activity do not produce strong muscles overnight. Much in the same way, the suffering in our lives although it may be taking its toll on our bodies, is producing a strength in our inner being. And God as the great "platoon leader" is standing there assisting us through the whole process.
There is so much in these three verses that I see, as I study them tonite, and it would take me a long time to write them all, so I encourage you, dear reader, to seek God in what He may have for you here. We need to keep our eyes fixed not on our circumstances, but looking up and away, we can fix our eyes on the eternal glories that our trials are achieving for us, producing for us, working out for us. Nothing is wasted in God's economy; He is using it all.
This is not all for our good, however. It is also for the good of God's people and for His glory. As we endure the workout of our sufferings, we gain a greater capacity to praise, serve and glorify God, not only in the now, but in the future, when we will stand before Him and struggle no more.
Just for the record, the party is pretty much torn down now. The Lord helped me get rid of the pathetic pity party. The only party I'm now working on preparing for is the one that I look forward to celebrating in heaven.