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Rest Builds

Most people think that they are getting stronger when they go to the gym and workout.
This isn’t actually true.

When a weightlifter goes to the gym they are actually tearing their muscles, breaking them down, and no building is happening at all.  Ironically, it isn’t until they go home, flop down on the couch with a dvd, or catch a great nights sleep that any body building actually occurs.  In fact, the discipline of resting well usually ranks around number 2 on the ‘need to do list’ of serious bodybuilders.  Rest is absolutely crutial to the body building process.  You tear, your body repairs…but only if you allow it to.   

The same is often true with our faith.

We think that it’s the difficult times, the times of struggle or loss when our faith gets stronger.  I’m not so sure about that anymore.  I think that in those times what is really happening is that our self-reliance begins to break down, and our false senses of security are torn apart.  In response we eventually, hopefully, run to God and rest in His presence.  That is the place where the building up of our faith our strengthening occurs. 
Just as with bodybuilding, the deeper and more frequently we tear apart our selfishnesses and false securities, the greater the potential is for growth.

The weaker and more broken we get, the stronger we become.

All of this however, hinges on that all important step.  It all depends on learning how to rest well.  When tragedy strikes do we know who to turn to?  Do we go to the Lord with our need and allow Him to replace our self-reliance with trust in Him.  The weaker and more broken we get, the stronger we become.  Ironic but beautiful.

Matthew 11:28 comes to my mind for this, “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Aside:
There are those attempting to see a silver lining in the devastating earthquake that has hit Haiti.  Some think that as a result of this disaster the world will finally take notice and work to improve the horrific poverty and living conditions Haiti has experienced for decades.  The hope is that once the dust settles, the country could potentially become stronger than it ever was.  Time will tell if this actually happens, and I certainly am not advocating that it is a good thing that has happened, because it clearly is horrible.  It’s sad that a disaster has to strike before people will reach out and help those in need, but at least people are helping now.  Let’s do what we can.

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