Happy New Year everyone! The start of a new year is always an exciting time for me as it is when I start a regular training routine for Biking for Babies. One of the ways I train for Biking for Babies is to go to the gym. And since it is the start of a new year, I see a lot of people in the gym; some have familiar faces, while others are new.
Every person is in the gym for the same purpose: to gain “strength”. The “strength” gains that people are looking for are usually different from person to person. Some are striving for a stronger confidence level, some are striving for stronger muscles, and still some are striving for strong and long lasting muscles to complete a marathon.
With these different ideas of “strength” for all of these people, for me, it begs the question, “who is the strongest?”
Is it the person who has been bench pressing their body weight the past half hour? Is it the marathon runner who hasn’t even broken a sweat after running for 20 minutes? Or is it the person who just finished 12 sit-ups which was 2 more sit-ups than they thought they could do? To answer this, I’d like to quote the Scripture, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
I believe the physically strongest person is the person who struggled to motivate themselves to exercise, but is doing it anyways or the person who mentally said, “one more push-up” and did it, even though they thought they couldn’t. Incorporating this one scripture quote into our daily lives shows us that when you find your ability to persevere through physical weakness, that is when you can declare yourself physically strong. And I believe that when you train your body to triumph when you are physically “weak,” you are also training the spirit to do the same.
I am blessed to say I have personally seen true physical and spiritual strength on my many trips with Biking for Babies. I have seen bikers so fatigued and worn out that all they want to do is stop, but they kept going. And in these moments of fatigue and thoughts of doubt I have seen bikers, who are in no mood to pray, pray anyways. When weather and traffic combine for a slow day of travelling, I have seen bikers and support crew members who believe there is nothing to be thankful for at the present moment pray a prayer of thanksgiving.
“When I am weak, I am strong.” If you have a new year’s resolution to improve your strength, no matter how you define it, I encourage you to use that improved strength as a base for improving your spiritual strength. Just like some days you will need extra motivation to go to the gym, you will find days you may need extra motivation to pray.
As your true physical and spiritual strength improve, you will find yourself constantly persevering through 1 more push-up and praying in thanksgiving even after a bad day. And through it all, you will find a deeper relationship with Christ who endured and triumphed, just like you and me, over the greatest of all human weaknesses: death.