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arnold & slyHappy Friday, everyone!

There’s a principle in body building that gets a lot of press.  You have to work the muscle, essentially tear it down from the inside, in order to strengthen it.  Your body was designed with amazing self-healing powers.  The workout that kills you actually does make you stronger.  Because you won’t die for real. Not today.  But you might ache all over.  Sitting could prove challenging; standing up makes you yelp out loud. Wearing your purse on your shoulder – either shoulder – causes you to rethink why you carry a purse at all.  And really, ladies, why *do* we? Sigh.

From bodybuilding.comResearch has shown that in order to increase muscle mass, stress must be put on the body, leading to increased hormone release, and increased flow of nutrients into the muscle, and with rest, muscles will grow.

So, the great thing about all of this is that as you continue to push yourself, you gain physical strength. You increase stamina as you run longer distances.  Your body acquires efficiency in utilizing oxygen. The heart reaps fabulous benefits from aerobic stress.  See, the human machine learns as it goes. It adapts to what we teach it.  It’s interdisciplinary at the cellular level.  Yet it’s little by little.  You don’t wake up one day and run a marathon.  Unless you’re Dean Karnazes. Just trust me, you’re not.

As I look at this minor running setback, I’m reminded that the potential for greater wholeness often comes out of breaking. It applies in the spiritual world as well.  God can make something new out of our brokenness. In fact, God shapes us all the time:  But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand – Isaiah 64:8. We learn as we go.  Sometimes, our entire paradigm changes. Hopefully, we gain wisdom and greater faith, line upon line, truth upon truth. In the vernacular, we “work smarter, not harder” due to knowledge gleaned from painful experience. I look forward to the good things the Lord will bring out of this season.

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