No Strain, No Gain
by PamFord Davis

Those who begin an exercise regimen know very well that the first few days leave them sore and stiff; it takes a while to stretch and relax muscles. Fitness coaches add to the discomfort with a cutting cliche, "No pain, no gain!" If we form attainable goals in weight loss of gradual inch reduction and increased stamina, we feel empowered to endure temporary discomfort.

Paul as our personal spiritual trainer often used athletic analogies in his writings. I summarize one workout with "No strain, no gain!" His message to the Philippi church hits home. "Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3: 13 NRS)."

Paul kept his eye on the goal, minimized distractions and forged ahead. "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14 NRS)." Life is not a 50-yard dash; it is a long distance race with the Lord Jesus at the finish line. He equips me; the prize is waiting and my focus is on eternity with my Savior.

Devotionals are her first love in writing. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal, With God Daily, Mary Hollingsworth's The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter.

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