I ducked my head under the bar bell, brought my aching shoulders up under it, and grasped the bar firmly with both hands. The bar, with heavy weights (at least 1000 pounds, I am certain) stretched out past my shoulders, with the ends resting in the supports.
“Are you sure I can lift all of this?” I said to my trainer, Dave.
“I know you can” He replied. “I’ll be right here behind you, watching and ready if you need me. Go ahead. You can do it.”
I straightened my legs, lifted the bar out of the supports and stepped backward. Up and down, I squatted with the heavy bar balanced on my shoulders, the weight bearing down on my whole body. I knew I was not alone. I could not see Dave, but I was confident that he was there, ready to make an adjustment to the bar if I was getting off balance, or reminding me of the proper body position when I faltered a bit.
1 … 5 … 8. Done. I stepped forward and placed the bar back in its resting place. Two more rounds of that, and although exhausted, I knew that it was what it would take for me to get stronger.
Sometimes, dear readers, it feels like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Our hearts are heavy and it can even be hard for our bodies to move. Trials of all sorts come in to our lives and we are certain that we will not be able to handle them -- carry them. Heartache. Loss. Betrayal. Loneliness. Illness. Ministries. Callings. Waiting.
We may call out, “Are you sure I can lift this one?” to the Lord. Have you been there? I certainly have been -- am. Seems like, feels like, it is just way too much to bear.
But, and I say this with an immense measure of hope and faith, God is present. You may not be able to see Him, but He is right there. He has you covered. He is there to make adjustments, show you what to do, help you when you need help, and in the spiritual realm, He is actually helping you carry the burden.
These things He does give us to carry – as overwhelming as they are -- for a purpose. They are to make us stronger, to make us more like Jesus and to bring Him glory. It hurts, but He is present, coaching , helping and watching. As hard as it is, we know that it must be this way.
My arms are sore today, but I am chuckling as I think of Proverbs 31:17, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” OK, Lord, I get it. I don’t like lifting weights, and I don’t like bearing trials, but I know it makes me strong for my work for You, and that makes it worth it. Thank you for loving me so much.