Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sweat reflections

photo credit

Sweat runs down my forehead, and little boys run around my basement. I am exercising with heart, soul, and body.  I am angry, determined, resolved to win this battle with my flesh.

A little boy runs past me with a sword, and another boy screams. “Marcus, behave yourself!” I half yell, half pant.

“Oh, don’t worry, mom, I’m a good guy now."
“Oh, you are?” I smile through sweat.
“Yeah. I just changed myself into a good guy, and so now I’m a good guy."

I punch, kick, squat, and jump with the perky lady on my video. And his words echo in my ears, “I’m a good guy now.”

How cute, that he thinks it is so easy. How sweet and childlike, that he thinks sin is something you can just slough off, just drop like a dirty sock on the floor, walk away, and be free of it.

He doesn’t know the extent of the sickness yet, does he? He doesn’t know how deep the selfishness runs, like poison in our veins.  He doesn’t know how it clings, oh how it clings, dragging a soul down to earth by weight of the flesh and the heart.

And I work. And I sweat. 

And when the workout is over, even still, I have not changed myself into a good, self-controlled girl. Not a choice, not effort, not even vigorous effort, can make such a change.

And I find myself exhausted, humbled, and sitting quietly with open hands.
And again, I am comforted by the basics, by the Solidness of Christ, of God’s love for me, and of the certainty of the Holy Spirit’s work in me.

 (From the Small Catechism by Martin Luther)
The Third Article.
Of Sanctification.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; one holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

What does this mean?--Answer.
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. 

This is most certainly true.

Father, thank you for the certain hope we have in Christ. You are a God who seeks and saves the lost, who helps the weak, who forgives the sinners.  As we struggle on our way, broken people traveling through a broken place, we look to You- Call, Gather, Enlighten, and Sanctify us, Father.  Keep our heads up, and our eyes fixed  on You, as we look forward to our certain eternal rest in You.  Amen.

Are you trying, by healthy living or any other way, to make yourself into a good person before God?
We can't bear this burden, nor do we have to, thanks be to Jesus.


  1. Such uplifting, encouraging, gospel-drenched words you have shared with us today. Thanks for letting Him be strong in your weakness. We all need to live in that light.

    (I found you at the Mercy Ink link-up.)

  2. Good words, even drenched in sweat they shine through.

    For fun, maybe you can dance with April.

  3. I pinned this. What encouragement I needed today.


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