Why is This So Hard?

Still in the Storm

I exercised this morning. And wondered, Why is this so hard? The new chill in the air as I walked to our neighborhood clubhouse was refreshing.

But once I got on the treadmill, I couldn’t figure out why my brief runs interspersed with the walks were so taxing.

My mind came up with lots of possibilities: maybe I’m looking at the display time on the treadmill too much; maybe this treadmill is harder than the one I usually use (it is a newer one); maybe I need to look out the window; maybe I should concentrate more on what’s playing through my earbuds; maybe I should have eaten less for dinner last night.

Then I realized the culprit. After 17 long minutes. This new treadmill’s incline apparently doesn’t reset to “0” when you start a new workout. And the overhead fluorescent lights were casting a glare on the screen, making it harder to see the incline number. I was running on an incline much steeper than I’d ever attempted.

You know what I did next? I changed that incline to “zero” so I could finish my workout with greater ease.

And it got me thinking. How often do we go through our day not even realizing we are working on an incline? We’re in a battle. A spiritual one! (Ephesians 6:12; I Peter 5:8)

Are you discouraged today? Did you just receive a disturbing phone call? Are you wondering how you’re going to make it through these next 24 hours? Do you feel defeated? Are you disappointed with how little you’ve accomplished and find yourself trying to come up with all the reasons why you’re so unproductive? Are you hurting for someone you love?

Take a closer look at the screen. Shield it from the reflections of the world just for a few moments.

Do you see you're in a spiritual battle?

Say “Goodbye” to discouragement and defeat. What good are they in battling the enemy?

Welcome joy and peace. Through Christ, we are on the winning side. You’ll get through this time of steep incline with your eyes focused on Him.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Still in the Storm