Breaking New Ground
Yesterday felt like a breakthrough for me. It was the first time that I committed to a group exercise gym and today I am feeling the fantastic results of pain earned by progress. Isn't that a funny concept that progress is painful? I think many of us don't realize that on the other side of Spiderman burpees, giving a speech in front of strangers, or denying a temptation for the first time that the inconvenience, anxiety, and pain it may produce is the pathway to progress in our growth.
I am so blessed to have two other pastors along the journey with me as I made a goal to be fit by forty. I have nine months to accomplish this and it is going to take a lot of labor to get where I hope to arrive this year in my physical goal. However, this is the same premise when we consider what may be needed for other areas where we are breaking ties with old narratives, roles, and strongholds that God is calling us to break new ground in. I believe the first best step we can take is to realize that we are not alone as God is with us in every breath and he seeks to provide a means out of the corner and beckons us to leave a place of shame, fear, or addiction.
With that knowledge that "because God has said,“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”[a]6 So we say with confidence,“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? ”we can stand in victory as each decision to break ground falls behind us as we take steps.
It is essential that we realize and accept that pain is evidence of the progress. If I used the evidence of how hard it is to climb the stairs today as a reason to stop instead of understanding new muscle fibers are forming, then I would misjudge the efforts I'm making.
A key question is asking "is this challenge building or breaking?"
If it is causing the risk of discovery, trust, surrender of control, facing fear, relying on trustworthy friends, then that is good pain.
If it is causing risk of disaster, loss of your trustworthiness, surrender of control to questionable characters, and violating the word of God, then it is going to break you, no matter what your superpower is...
So, what new ground can you begin to break? Is it being vulnerable to another person with accountability or removing that feeling of isolation? Is it making that doctor appointment because you can't shake the blues? Is it being willing to circle back into an area and face the faults made in the past to be able to get on with the future?
Whatever it is, the pain it takes to be obedient to the Father is not in vain and He sees your obedience and willingness to rely on his strength and wisdom to grow through and to a new level of faith, maturity, and actions that demonstrate you are taking this love of Christ serious in your daily walk. Break new ground and be willing to face the pain it takes to grow into character and virtue that God is able to bless and use for others!
Keep looking Up!