I was at the doctor’s office recently and we had a conversation about the Swine Flu.  I’m not a huge fan of vaccines and my question was, “What’s the worst case scenario if a guy like me decides not to take the shot?”  His answer? “You’ll be laid up for a few days until your body builds up the antibodies and fights it off.”  Interesting.  When we get sick, our bodies build up the strength to overcome it.

I find it extremely interesting that heavier weights (also called resistance) increase muscle strength, unfamiliar subjects fortify our minds, and difficult circumstances cause us to grow in wisdom, patience, and faith.

Pain, resistance, difficulty, adversity.  These things toughen us.  We’d turn to mush without them.  In fact I’m sure I know people who have turned to mush because they go into denial, dodge pain, or give up and wallow in self-pity.  After all, it’s far easier to quit, blame, or feel sorry for ourselves than go through the ringer one more time.  “Who wants more patience?”  “I have enough, thanks.”

I once heard Sam Chand say that our capacity to grow is directly proportional to our capacity to endure pain.  How true!  Once we decide that we’ve had enough, we stop growing.  I love Tylenol’s recent marketing slogan, “Push through the pain.”  When we want to give up, when we can’t find the answer, when it all seems too hard, PUSH THROUGH!  I’ve found that simply NOT throwing in the towel has tremendous value.  Most of the time, breakthrough happens just the other side of wanting to give up.

One of these days I’ll probably tell my story on this site, but let’s just say it’s not a pretty one.  I’ve had to endure some pretty great pressure and, even though I wouldn’t want to repeat all the obstacles, I treasure the work God has done in me through them.  I’ve gained wisdom, insight, endurance, and compassion for others.  Those things have prepared me for the work He has called me to and I thank Him for all of it.

Romans 5:3 & 4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”

If you’re feeling pressure, resistance, or stress stay the course!  Your muscles are growing, your mind is sharpening, your emotions are getting stronger.  Growing is more important than the false peace found in giving up.  When it’s all said and done, you’re gonna be a butt kicker.  Just wait and see!