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Spiritual Stamina

Do not be deceived:God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh,from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good,for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9

Stamina is a word used frequently in school work...reading stamina, struggle stamina (to keep working with numbers to show more than one way of solving a problem, etc.), and I might add engagement stamina. Its a word easily associated with exercise and a word that describes an area of growth for most of us in multiple areas of life.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I have found that I really lack stamina in prayer. The matter of being confident in what I hope for and assured about what I do not see, well, my faith is really weak. I quickly grow weary like Martha Jane being asked to run a mile around the park median on our street. In the first of three laps, she will get a cramp, find that her legs hurt, sometimes have a sudden headache or piercing stomach ache. Almost every single time, however, she has the remarkable ability to sprint the final half a lap to the finish. To me, this demonstrates the psychological nature of our capacity for pain, struggle, endurance, and even stamina.

Martha Jane's sight of the finish fills her with strength that in the first lap she couldn't access. Once success seems possible, its amazing how we can push beyond the bounds of our comfort in ways that seem impossible when defeat feels more certain.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

My prayer stamina might increase, like Martha Jane's sudden strength and speed when she sees the finish line, if I trusted more in God's promise of the finish line and His strength to get His good plans across it. I grow tired and weary and weak, my prayers feeling anemic, making me prone to spiritually stumbling, falling, and wanting to climb into bed and hide under the covers. But His grace compels me to get up, walk without fainting, run without growing weary, and even to soar on wings like eagles!

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8


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