Learning Patience

May 4, 2016
by Judith Welch

For the past few months, I have been trying to return to my pre-surgical level of fitness. It has required a great deal of patience. At times, it has been very frustrating and discouraging. Often at the end of my hour of exercise, I felt like I had taken one step forward and two steps backward.

For encouragement, I started reading the following verse before leaving for the gym:

1 Chronicles 28:20 – Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. (NIV)

Then as my patience wore even thinner, I added reading this verse:

Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (NKJV)

After reading these Scriptures for several days, I realized that I had been focusing on the wrong goal. I needed to concentrate on preparing myself physically to do the work for this one day that God had given me.

As time passed, I began to see tiny gains. I stopped focusing on the number of miles biked or walked in a given time frame. I even stopped staring at the monitor recording my heart rate, and I weighed myself only once a week. What a blessing it was to know that God is walking with me in my steps forward and in my steps backward.

"Patience is seeing each step as a journey rather than seeing a journey as a thousand steps." – R. E. Goodrich

Now each day on my way to the gym, I remind myself that God has blessed me with this day, and I need only embrace today's challenge. So I continue to try to improve my speed, my strength, and my endurance. I also continue to hold out hope for an age-appropriate heart rate during exercise and a lower number on the scales. When I finally reach my goals, I will be healthy and fit once again and I will be ready for whatever the next challenge is that God has for me — in God's time, not mine! What is your challenge today?

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the words in Scripture that help us to keep on keeping on and for the promise that You will go with us each day in all our steps. Give us the courage, we pray, to be patient and to persevere, even when our timeframe isn't Yours. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Judith Welch <judithwelch12@gmail.com>
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen.


    Thank you so much!!


    God bless your journey Judith.


    Oh how that is a very big Amen sister! if only I had the time.


    Thank you for these encouraging words.
    Blessings.


    Very appropriate for me! Thank you for taking the time and patience to write this.
    (Northern Ontario)


    Amen dear sister! Thank you for your encouragement to keep going and wait on our most loving Lord.
    Peace.


    Brave girl Judith, bravo and carry on grandly for the Lord is with you and in him success is found!
    Blessings.


    This message was particularly appropriate for me right now as I am in rehab for arthritic problems. I often feel frustrated at how slowly things appear to be going. Thanks so much for these inspiring words.


    Judith, thank you for this timely message. Three weeks ago today I had surgery and my biggest hurdle is patience. I will take, these two verses and make Them part of my daily exercise time.
    Blessings.


    Dear Judy,
    I sincerely hope that your healing continues in faith.
    Best wishes, as you continue your rehabilitation.
    Your devotional are always so comforting.


    Hi Judith,
    Thank you for sharing this devotional. I shall adopt your approach to my gym program.
    I need to be reminded to be patient. I feel like you just shared my story.
    Praise the Lord sister, much appreciated.
    (Sask.)


    Dear Judith:
    God bless you Judith. I too am going through post-op rehabilitation. I totally get where you are coming from. I’m not going to a gym but I see a Physio Therapist once a week. I am having a hard time remembering to do my exercises. I agree with you though that it’s one step at a time and it truly is in God’s time. Thank so much for your encouraging words.


    Judith,
    What a blessing your devotional is to me this morning.
    I look at going to the gym as a chore and look for excuses to not go. I need to remember “it is not the destination but journey” I should be enjoying. Building endurance is important in both my physical and spiritual life. To know God will be with me each step is a comfort and will help me to accomplish both.


    Thank you Judith for a very encouraging devotional! Getting fit does require much patience and is often at times, very discouraging. Seeing the meagre results of our efforts to change makes it easy to lose hope on a regular basis. Your insights about focusing on God’s promises; His constant companionship; and us preparing our bodies for today’s work bring immediate relief and renewed hope over matters that have caused patience to wear thin. I’m posting this reminder on my fridge! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Blessings


    Dear Judith Welch,
    Thanks for making me think: Our inspiration and power “for keeping on keeping on” (as you say) is that Jesus kept on keeping on until he rose again — where he ever lives for eternity for us.
    We pray thanking him.
    And I pray for your in your keeping on.
    I too keep on with my walker when out of my house (I don’t need it inside), and with a stationery exercise bike too.
    I’m thankful for a wonderful spring day today.
    I’m thankful for the equipment — aids to balance.


    Many thanks for your submission. I am awaiting – and dreading – surgery soon. Your devotional corrected my perception and I will be more positive going forward. Thank God for you sharing your experience.

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