Nine weeks ago, our third child was born. This morning, as I stepped onto the scale, I was disheartened to see no decrease in the numbers looming there. A very strong part of me wanted to give up. It said, "Go downstairs, and have a bowl of ice cream and an oversized chocolate muffin for breakfast. Cancel your exercise routine for the day, and take the kids out for Happy Meals. They will love you for it! Besides, all of this silly exercise and ridiculous portion sizing is not making a difference." I mustered up enough will power to grab a cup of coffee (with 1% milk and no sugar) and dive into the Word instead.
After my head and my heart were where they should be, I grabbed the kids, their bikes, and my heavy-duty stroller and headed for the track. I ran two miles for the first time in almost a year, and thought while I ran about waiting on God. Actually, I only thought about it for the first mile. This was also the first time running two miles after having three children, so I spent the entire second mile concentrating on not peeing my pants.
What I thought about during that first mile not only gave me strength to continue my daily exercise routines, but also reminded me of the importance of persevering in my daily routine of seeking God through prayer and study of His Word. In trying to lose all of this extra baby weight, it has been somewhat discouraging not to see immediate results, as I did with my first two children. With them, I barely had to lift a finger and could maintain my normal diet and the pounds just melted off. With this one, I am working hard, and depriving myself of many goodies and to seemingly no avail!
Likewise, I often come out of my time with God "feeling" as if I am no better off than before I strove to commune with Him. Perhaps, I haven't been able to clearly hear His voice, or maybe it is one of those days where His Word seems to hold nothing specifically applicable or life-changing for me. When a believer has those types of days consecutively, it can be easy to give up to stop striving to know Him better. Instead, we ought to press on, not losing site of the fact that "the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love" (Ps 147:11). After all, isn't our ultimate goal as children of the God Most High to bring delight to our Father?
As I continue to exercise, I know for a fact that increased activity and decreased calorie intake will eventually equal pounds and inches lost. My dependence on that very fact gives me the strength and perseverance to continue striving toward my goal. As I continue to seek God's face, I know these things:
Fact: He rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Fact: The eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
Fact: If you seek him, he will be found by you. 2 Chronicles 15:2
Fact: You will find [God] when you seek [Him] with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
Fact: Call to [God] and [He] will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3).
Since we know that "the Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all he has made" (Ps 146:13), we can reasonably accept His above promises as certain facts. Let these promises strengthen and encourage you to persevere in pursuing Him daily, anticipating with excitement and confidence the results of a transformed heart and life.
Katherine Kimbley is a writer by trade and a mother of three. A graduate from the University of Arizona, her Fine Arts degree is in creative writing and studio art. She and her family currently live in Germany, and plan to stay in Europe where they are being led into full-time ministry.