First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Two days after the day.

March 1, 2016

    It came in like a lamb! The month of March is here and it seems rather calm right now. Nice! As much as I want to jump up and down with glee, I can't. You see, my thighs are still immensely sore from the climb up Bird Rock on Sunday. Yesterday was tough. I walked around like someone who finished doing 1000 squats...twice.  Navigating stairwells was an adventure. The soreness was more intense than when I ran half marathons. Ouch!  I am 55 but looked like I might have been 155 yesterday.  

The above topography map seems to suggest an increase in elevation from 600 feet along Kish Creek to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1100 feet at the summit. Meh! 500 feet of elevation doesn't seem like much, until you traverse it going straight up. I have now come to find out there are other paths to the summit with much less difficulty.  Ughh!!   (If only I would have researched this!)  Anyways, back to my current physical challenges....

    I know what I need to do and I will. Going for a run this afternoon will be tough but necessary for my muscles and joints to be released from the stiffness and tenderness. No doubt, I shredded some muscle on Sunday (thus the pain) and growth in those areas can be enhanced by going back to exercise (muscle growth and strength).

   Crazy! He's crazy! Where did this lunatic come from?  Why? (I know many of you are uttering, no dare I say, yelling these sentences!)

    I have come to realize life contains pain. Some pain is destructive and demoralizing in nature. Pain that comes from addiction, great loss, and tragedy carries the possibility of defeating us. These events barrelroll us and many of us never recover. The pain is too great and the future has dissolved into an ongoing whirlpool of dispair.

    Some pain (maybe all pain)  can be redemptive in nature. All the situations listed above that can rob us of hope and life can also strengthen us. The pain up front seems to be a bit much. How does one recover from this soreness and awkward gait? Life slows down.  What can redeem this pain?  Faith in Christ! Jesus knows pain. He knows suffering. He knows loss of hope. (Read Matthew 27:46)

    The scripture below, is one of my favorites and yet one of the most difficult texts to internalize. It goes against human nature to embrace trials and pain that come from these barrelroll events. Exercising our spiritual muscle in advance is always encouraged. Preemptive work done to strengthen our hearts and minds, trusting God has our situation in His care, and living forward with faith are some of the ways we draw nearer to where God leads us. This maturing (strengthening) of our faith is vital.

        "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus

        Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we

        rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we

        know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And

        hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,

        whom he has given us." (Romans 5:1-5, NIV)

If you are embroiled in pain today and this pain seems to be chronic, stop! Turn your eyes back to Christ and admire His sacrifice, His passion, and the pain he endured for you...for me. Reinvest your life, your time, your resources toward a ministry opportunity. Don't give into pain, but grasp it, own it, and work it. Through your rehab, the spiritual muscles that hurt so much right now will get stronger. Truth! Are you up for a run? 

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