Daily Devotion, 4/09/18, “Dynamic Zombies”
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4 NLT
My youngest son Micah and I did a particularly challenging workout early last week that made us so stiff and sore that we were dragging ourselves around like lame zombies the next morning. I remember thinking that the next workout was not going to be a good time because my somewhat less than peak conditioned body was aching so badly. I limped into Dynamic Dimensions anyway, feeling much more like being static than being dynamic. I warmed up and stretched out a little longer than normal and then put my work in. Why? Why not just skip it and roll to Dino’s Donuts for some comfort food? I chose to go because my focus is not on being happy in the moment, it’s on being healthy for a lifetime.
Paul used a similar approach when problems came his way. He realized that problems, as bad as they seemed in the moment, actually helped him in the long run. Problems have a way of reminding us how blessed we are compared to the problems of so many others. Problems invite us to be creative, humble and God dependent. As we follow God’s lead in pushing through them, we develop patience, wisdom, confidence, faith and perseverance. Ask anyone who’s had to go through extremely difficult times and they’ll tell you. Some lessons can only be learned and some growth can only happen when you’re forced to go through the fire and hold onto God. Sure, you come out with a few scars and scratches. Sure, you come out tired and weary. Sure, it’s an experience you wouldn’t wish upon anyone. At the same time, there’s a knowledge of God and a strength of character that you would not have developed any other way. Cozy, controlled and comfortable conditions are preferred by the lazy, the undisciplined and the weak. If you want to get to the high places of blessing, you’ll have to hike uphill to get there.
If you’re going through a challenging season and you’re struggling to keep going, think about Paul’s words. You don’t have to like what you’re going through but embrace it anyway. As my friend Bubba Sharpton likes to say, the comfort zone is not the growth zone. What God forges in you as you persevere will be worth the pain in the end. You are loved!