Years ago, after having all my babies, I found myself overweight and feeling really unhealthy. I had fully given my body over to pregnancy and then nursing and being all-in with raising toddlers. Also, much of that time I was acting as a single parent because Chris mostly worked out of state. It was a hard time and to be perfectly honest, I was just trying to survive.
Then one day, after our family moved to PA so we could all live in one place…God told me to start running. I was a little shocked because I had never been a runner. Nonetheless I found an app called C25K (couch to 5k) and began the humbling process of running. At first, I was so exhausted when I finished each time, that I could barely function the rest of the day…yes, I was that out of shape…but as time passed and I stayed determined to do what God instructed me to do, things got much better.
Fast forward 8 years or more, and today I refuse to go without walking or running 5-6 days a week. It’s a necessary part of my life. My family has noticed such a shift in me since I began exercising, that they too encourage me to go do it. It makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
But an unexpected side effect was that it made me a stronger worship leader too.
It was when I began worship leading in PA that I realized God was transitioning me to a much more physically active worshiper…prone to dancing around and jumping, etc. When I stayed on top of my exercise, this wasn’t a problem…but if I slacked…it was hard. Also, my singing voice expanded during this time, and I believe a lot of that was breathing related. When you run or briskly walk, you learn to breathe better and all of singing is majorly connected to breathing. God showed me that one reason He had wanted me to exercise was so I could worship Him more freely.
God desires His people to be self-controlled, and some of that includes getting exercise and being healthy. Back in Bible times, they didn’t need to think about this because life was much more active, but in our season of the earth it must largely be intentional. It’s just the way it is.
I say all of this because I just want to reinforce the fact that to be a healthy, well-rounded follower of Christ, I believe it includes our physical bodies. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. I believe this is something worth thinking about. It’s not the most important thing, but it is worthwhile.
Another lovely side effect of exercising was, God began meeting me there. I never exercise without having Him with me. He speaks, gives me visions and encourages my heart during these times. If I’m feeling emotionally stuck, I go out and walk…suddenly, things lift, and everything feels lighter, and the answers come. It’s become a serious part of my survival.
Imagine the ways God could meet you there too!
No matter what you do, find a place where you know God will always meet you. I have a few. It brings great comfort to my life to know that if I go exercise, God will meet me. If I sit at the piano, He will already be waiting.
To have regular release and success in life, I believe we must have these places…the places where the searching ceases and we behold Him.
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, Who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. 1 Timothy 4:8-10