Saturday tore me down. I had expectations when I showed up at the gym. My thoughts spiraled out of control. I felt alone and invisible. As I was holding 110lbs over my chest, I told myself my presence there didn’t matter. The weight suddenly felt heavy as I lost focus. I realized that if I didn’t pull myself together mentally, I was going to get injured physically. So I re-racked the barbell and sat up. Looking around the gym, as if for the first time, I saw people. Not just bodies, people. “Do you see them now?” I heard faintly in the back of my mind. There was only one way out of this funk. Prayer. I got up off the bench, went to the bathroom, and confessed my self-absorption. Then I washed my face and started praying for each person. Lessons learned in the gym are priceless.
“For it is Christ’s love that fuels our passion and holds us tightly, because we are convinced that he has given his life for all of us. This means all died with him, so that those who live should no longer live self-absorbed lives but lives that are poured out for him—the one who died for us and now lives again.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 TPT
As a passionate lover of Christ, I should not be living a self-absorbed life. My life must be “poured out” for Him. We may never know the value of our presence as believers in public spaces. Our presence and prayers are vital. These valuable lessons learned in the gym restored me.
YOUR PRESENCE MATTERS
Wherever you find yourself, be fully present. When we fixate on ourselves, we diminish our presence. When we focus on who we are with and what we are doing, our presence increases. In caring about the other people in our midst, we make an impact in their lives. And we come away full from the experience of partnering with Christ as an expression of His love.
YOUR PRAYER MATTERS
Your prayers are vital in this time of chaos. Each of us has been impacted by this trying time. When we walk into a gym, we have a huge mission field laid out for us. And our mission is to lavish each one with His love. We can pray for protection, peace, and health for each member. There is nothing normal about this season of life we’re in together. Let’s use our prayers to support, comfort, and encourage one another.
Strength increases as our muscles are challenged. We get stronger with the repetition of lifting burdens. Let me show you what I mean:
This is me lifting 110lbs for the first time back in April.
This is 110 lbs x 2, a month ago.
This is from Saturday. It’s 110lbs again, but I completed 5 sets of 3 reps each.
Just as we get stronger through repetitions in weightlifting, as we repeatedly lift others up in prayer, the more powerful we’ll become at lifting others up in prayer. We don’t have to know their burdens. God knows what their needs are. However, from lessons learned in the gym, I know that we all need prayer and our presence matters!
Where can you pray today? What area can you bless with your presence? Practice showing up and tuning in to those around you this week.
Lord, we pour out our praise, our hearts, and our lives to You. Help us to be present for those in need of Your touch. Help us to pray for those around us. We may never see the fruit, but lives will be changed, and You will be glorified in the process. May we be Your hands and feet. May we let go of our self-absorption and make an impact that has eternal significance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.