For those of us getting on in years (and weight) I thought I would let everyone in on a little secret I've found for building my arm and shoulder strength. You might wish to adopt this program, for just three days a week seems to work well for me. I started by standing outside behind my house with a 5 pound potato sack in each hand. Then I extended my arms straight out from my sides and brought them to shoulder height and held them there as long as I could. After a few weeks, I moved up to 10 pound potato sacks, then 50 pound potato sacks, and finally, I got to where I could lift 100 pound potato sacks in each hand and hold my arms straight out for more than a full minute! Next, I started putting a few potatoes in each sack, but I would caution you not to overdo it at this level.
[Parts above by unknown author]
Too often, I talk to God about trivial events in my life, and I forget to drop in the real problems, or potatoes, that I'm struggling with, fearful or unwilling to relinquish my reign over the desired outcome. I lift my empty sacks and pretend all is well. Sadly, as long as I do this, I'm just left holding onto a bag that is empty and meaningless. Then I become spiritually flabby, out of touch with the only One who can build any real spiritual muscles.
As long as I try to live my life as I see fit, under my own power, God remains, but He remains aloof, and the weight of my problems burden my shoulders and my soul. God wants me to trust in Him alone, for all of my needs. He wants me to call out to Him for everything, to lay before Him all of my hopes and dreams, to trust in Him regardless of the outcome, to revel in His love no matter the circumstance, and to rest in His arms before all else fails. No matter what the situation, He promises to provide an escape while conforming me to Christ.
When I fill my sack of prayer to Him with honest surrender, or trust, when I take up my cross and follow Him, He'll empty my sacks and fill my life with His grace, mercy and power. He will do more than I could ever ask for or imagine possible. He will work in my life to empower me to handle any problem in His power so that fruit will appear.
May He deliver us from potato sack theology, from personal traditions that keep us starched and inflexible to His calling. May He humble us, so we can lift our real problems to Him wearing true sackcloth. May He give us the faith to rely on His power and the patience to wait for His answer. May we rejoice in being a son or daughter of Christ.
Mountain Time Moment
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
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