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No Pain No Gain « Corey Evan | Worship Leader


No Pain No Gain

Well, I’m officially working out again. I say again because there have been several seasons in my life that I’ve committed myself to maintaining a gym membership and working out regularly. I’ve been made fun of for being skinny most of my life, and consequently, I’ve never liked being thin. It’s always been a goal of mine look like Will Smith, who I’m frequently mistaken for already, when I take my shirt off. I love any opportunity to go to the gym and work on shaping the body. I want the six-pack, the broad shoulders and back, and the muscular chest. I become conscious of what I’m eating, and start drinking disgusting protein drinks and eating those awful protein bars. Most of all, I love the soreness that comes from a good work out. I love leaving the gym feeling the burn of muscle growth. Notice that I didn’t say: “I don’t mind the pain”. I said I love it.

I don’t consider myself to have a high pain tolerance at all, but pain never keeps me away from the gym. I can barely walk up and down stairs today from squats and leg presses the night before last, and I love it. The pain means I’m doing something right. It means I’m working hard enough to produce growth for my muscles. It means: “Look out Will, I’m coming for you!” I can’t even see the results yet, but I can feel the hurt of progress. The hurt keeps me looking for the progress. I expect progress because I feel pain.

I wonder what would happen in my life if I approached my spirit the same way? When God asks me to endure hardships, does the pain I feel excite me because it means growth is happening in my spirit? I can’t lie and say that is the case for me. I run away from spiritual pain and sometimes even spiritual discipline. I’m not as eager to do things that  don’t make me feel good. I don’t view the sacrifice the same. I have a hard time understanding why God doesn’t make the pain go away. I don’t like the taste of personal sacrifice. I don’t see the same value in it that  I see in the “blekk in a bottle” protein skakes I drink for muscle growth and health. I know that it’s impossible to grow muscle without pain and shock, but for some reason I allow myself to believe that spiritual growth is possible without the same work and pain.

My prayer today is that God would help me endure in my spirit the way I am determined to endure pain to grow physically. I want to be strong and healthy in my spirit. I’ve learned that the same routine in the gym will not produce consistent growth. Experts actually say that you have to shock your muscles in order for them to grow, so it’s recommended that you change your routine occasionally. I believe that God applies the same thing to our spiritual growth. Sometimes He has to shock us. Sometimes we have to endure things we aren’t use to or comfortable with, and He knows that. I pray for growth all the time, but I pray the pain away. Lord help me embrace the process that leads to growth. Teach me not to pray away the pain of growth.  Teach me that You aren’t out to kill me, but to grow me up. Teach me that there is no gain without experiencing pain.