I made it to the gym this morning. It takes a committed push from deep inside myself – but I always feel accomplished when I’m done. Never any regrets for going. My main goal when I work out is NOT to sweat buckets on the tread mill or elliptical (I don’t like that machine) but to work with the weights and build muscle. More muscle means a leaner, more toned body as well as strength and a faster metabolism. The technique for building muscles is to do a repetition of a weight exercise until you can’t quite finish that twelfth rep. And you do three sets of twelve. Just when you can’t do another repetition and it starts to hurt and burn a little; it means you are tearing muscle fibers. The mechanism (in layman’s terms here) is that the tears are little bits of muscle damage that is GOOD for your muscle because the next day, when you rest that muscle, it will repair itself and even make a little more muscle – and that means an increase in muscle fibers.
So now let me couple that thought with what I read this morning.
Precious metals must be heated at high temperatures so that all impurities are removed. So what does this have to do with building muscle you ask?
Unless our muscles are challenged and even ‘burned’ so to speak, they will not change or grow. The same is true in our lives. We could be living life on a pretty comfortable path, but unless we are tested by challenges, we will stay the same and never grow. God will put situations in our lives from which we may never be the same again. He is helping to refine us; get rid of the impurities; so that we may become more like him.
At the gym, it is so easy to reduce the amount of weight that I am working with – I just may not be motivated that day or feel like working hard. Many times God sends us life challenges where we cannot always so simply remove the extra weight. We have to carry it. Sometimes it hurts.
But if we are faithful and true to trust Him, He has promised to be with us to the end and will carry that burden for us. He will refine us and we will be better people in the end.
No pain no gain baby!
Isaiah 48:10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.