The Ancients wrote a good post called Faith is Like a Muscle. Lots of wisdom there and encouragement,too.
I’d like to play off of that idea for a moment, the concept of faith being like a muscle needing to be exercised and fed. Faith is actually a spiritual practice, as in you must show up for the rehearsals, or if we are speaking of sports here, you must go to the practice. One cannot just arrive on game day and expect to do well. It takes practice, one might even call the practice itself a rather all-consuming lifestyle choice.
It’s somewhat funny, I myself can be very disciplined when it comes to spiritual matters, but downright undisciplined and lazy when it comes to exercise. I am more like a cat, lounging out in the sunlight. I have mastered the art of naps far better than I have mastered exercise. If I ever have to move quickly, I better have some powerful motivation, like a bear. Bears usually do the trick.
Ancients says, “Those who wait until the day of the contest to start training are going to lose. That’s not the way it works in the natural or the spiritual.” Well yes, but let us not forget the other part about how prone to injury you will be, how those muscles will express their displeasure by becoming sore and painful. All in good humor, but especially as you get older, you will encounter this when you are suddenly called to run and running is just not your thing. Or jumping out of a truck quickly and the next day you feel more as if you actually got hit by a truck.
Muscles must be stretched, trained, used, and fed, so they will respond properly when you need them. Our bodies, especially our muscles, have a memory all of their own. Mine keep saying, “Oh girl, it’s been a long, long time since you tried to jump over a log. Is this really wise?”
Unlike in the natural, in faith one cannot really “lose.” One can certainly make their life more difficult, more painful than necessary, and wind up a bit like an untrained runner in a marathon throwing up on the sidelines, but God will scoop you up and carry you the rest of the way if necessary. Or if you are like me, perhaps drag you kicking and screaming the rest of the way, but regardless, He is in it to win it, to win you.
Like a good personal trainer, God will meet you right where you’re at. It is always win-win with Him, because if you really must crawl the rest of the way, you are instinctively already on your knees and that is the best place to be of all.