"Yes, LORD, walking in the ways of Your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts." Isaiah 26:8 (NIV)
I feel that I need to start this off with a true confession. Here goes. I've gotten out of the habit of exercise. And it shows. I hit 50 and bottomed out...pun intended! I asked my hubby to help me...to remind me...to encourage me. I prayed for God to help me...to give me the time...or help me see that I really do have the time.
God answered through my 10 year old. Last night, she said, "Please, Mom, can we take a walk??" Well, I was already feeling bad because we were not participating in the school "Corn Maze outing" and that we probably won't do any trick or treating (Is that a downside of having a 50 year old mother?)...so I put on my walking shoes and said, "Let's go!" We had a nice time...me walking, her zipping past me on her scooter. We chatted with each other whenever she was beside me. We stopped and chatted with neighbors. It was a nice time. So much so, that I thought this morning, "Hmmm, we need to do that again." We did.
We followed our usual path...well, it's usual when I'm disciplined enough to do it. I decided that I'd rather conquer the big hill right off. Man, that's tough. My legs ached. My heart pounded. But I endured. That's when God spoke the first words to me. He said (inaudibly), "The more you do it, the easier it gets." Funny, I had said those very words to Melea this morning as she practiced a difficult piano piece. Yes, those words ring true...for walking, for piano practice, for praying, for studying God's Word, for obeying God, for trusting Him. And I just have to add, for my writer friends out there, that it applies to writing too! (Children's writers, please click on the Write2Ignite icon in the top right hand corner and sign up for our conference!!!)
God also reminded me that we shouldn't give up if we've "fallen off the wagon" with our exercise plan, or our time in His Word, or our prayer life. See, I had started justifying the idea that I had already gotten out of the habit of walking, and that when cold weather gets here that I'm not going to want to continue...just like every year. But...I do have a treadmill...gathering dust upstairs. Okay, so I'm jumping back on the wagon...and hoping to stay...the neighborhood on nice days...treadmill when winter brings blustery ones! Spiritual application: So ladies, if you've fallen behind in your Bible study, don't give up! Don't just quit going. Don't feel like it's hopeless. Get back on the wagon!!!
The next point was that walking is essential...physically and spiritually. It's the only way to stay healthy...and joyful...and feeling good about myself. Just like exercise combats the destruction of osteoporosis, walking in His Word prevents the deterioration the enemy would like to see in our spirits. In the same way that being physically fit will improve my feelings about myself, time in His Word will remind me of the truth of how He sees me...and who I am in Him! As that hill in my neighborhood becomes easier to climb in time, so will my perseverance in the struggles that I face in life...as I remember His strength...and the victories He's accomplished...and the promises He has given.
Oh, and just another thought...whether it's walking or worship or Bible study (or writing!), it helps to have someone to keep us accountable. I know I need that! And the fellowship and encouragement that those who join us brings is just icing on the cake! Okay...so no icing and no cake...let's just say tremendous blessing!
Father, thank You for Your love for us! Thank You for Your Word to us. Thank You for the many ways that you speak to our hearts! You are amazing! Help us to walk closely by Your side all the days of our lives.