Monday, September 20, 2010

We Never Know What God May Be Preparing Us For

I’m in the throes of training for an unusual race; actually, any race is unusual for me.  Although I do work-out for my health and for the sake of my arthritis, I usually do not compete in any races. I was a sprinter in high school, and needless to say, there are not any 200 meter dash events for a forty-six year old woman.  Distances longer than a couple of miles stress my back and I’m convinced that I am not built for endurance.
However, my trainer Dave had another idea, and I now find myself scratching my head and wondering what I got myself in to – a relay team member for  the 2010 Urbanathlon Chicago. 
The race includes both running and traversing obstacles – urban obstacles – like buses, cars and police barriers and the stairs at Soldier Field. There are monkey bars to swing across, tires to shuffle through and nets to crawl under. It is a nine mile race, broken up by six obstacle courses. I’ll be doing one-third of it.   I’m not sure what “leg” of the race I am competing in – but I either way – it is outside of the box for me. Way outside the box.
I’m preparing for the event under Dave’s guidance. He determines the workout, I am trying to follow his direction.  I’m not always crazy about what he asks of me, however, I do trust his expertise and deep down inside I know if I’m going to get stronger and finish the race, I need to prepare for it, and he knows what he is doing.
Training does not come easy for me. I tend to put up a fight. For instance, when I am weight training I always want to know what is next, asking Dave, “How much do I have to lift?  Did you add any more weight?  How many repetitions do I have to do? How far do I have to go?”
Recently, Dave responded to my barrage of repetitive questions, “Does it matter, Andrea? Does it matter whether I added more weight to the bar? Does that mean you’re not going to try?”
I’m sure I rolled my eyes as I stepped up to the bar, ducked under it and brought my shoulders up into the bar, lifting it off the rack.
 “Keep your mind focused on the muscle that is working.  Don’t think about how heavy it is.  If you focus on the weight, it is harder. Focus on what you have to do,” Dave reminded me.
 Wise words for me to focus on in life, too. Sometimes, I think the load in life is too heavy, as well. I weary of too many repetitions.  “Are you sure, Lord, that You know what You are doing?” I’ve asked Him a few thousand times. And yet, deep down inside I know that He does know the burdens that I can handle (with His help) and He knows how many times I need to lift it to get stronger – for in life, we are always preparing for something. God is always preparing us for something.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as I move through my day, making choices and watching for what God may be doing in my life. He takes everything in our day and uses it to prepare us for what He has next. 
We may never know what God may be preparing us for – physically, emotionally or spiritually; perhaps it is even something out side of our comfort zone -- out of our box. He may be preparing us for an opportunity to serve Him, an opportunity to love someone and encourage them or an opportunity to trust Him during a trial. He may be training us for something little or it may be something big. It may be for our good or it may be for the good of others.

Ours is to follow His direction as He prepares us in every aspect of our day, keeping our eyes fixed on Him, the Author and Perfector of our faith, trusting Him in all things. Not always easy to do,  but He is the one with the ultimate expertise and knows just what He is doing. We can count on that.

*  What is God doing in your life today?
*  Are you willing to trust Him that what He is doing is making you stronger and more like Jesus?


Deanna@MilesToRun said...

Andrea, I have been waiting to run into you to ask about the race you're doing. I checked out the website. How fun and totally out of the box! I'm so excited for you. Please have someone take pictures; you'll love looking at them later. The obstacles are crazy; but totally fun. How many are in your relay Dave one of them?

I am putting the date on my calendar and I'll be thinking of you!

Andrea @ Unfailingly Loved said...

Thanks, Deanna. I appreciate your encouragement and cheering me on. I've got to be honest with you -- I'm nervous! I keep thinking, "I'm not so sure about this ..." It certainly will be an experience!

Juanita said...

God is asking me to trust Him with my 15 year old daughter(His daughter too!). She has made a commitment to follow Jesus(was baptized in a joyous celebration this summer)but I find that the world is calling her. And that makes me afraid.
"Our God is greater...our God is stronger...God you are higher than any other..." Chris Tomlin
Thanks for this encouraging post.

The Smith's said...

WOW, I'm so proud of you and the race you're going to be in! That's something I'd love to do one day. I know you'll do a great job and I'd love to see pictures and hear all about it too! Will all the kids be there cheering you on?

Thanks also for your spiritual application and encouragement to trust God with whatever he is asking us to carry. It is true that he's always preparing us for something. I enjoy reading your posts!

Love, Jessica

Andrea @ Unfailingly Loved said...

Juanita -- thanks for your note. I picked it up on my cell-phone and prayed for your daughter right away. Trusting God is so hard -- especially when it comes to our children. I will continue to pray for her.

Jess -- thanks for your enthusiasm and your encouragement. It's a joy to watch God working in your life.

Juanita said...

Thanks so much Andrea...has been a good day of trusting...

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