By Jadihel Rodriguez, FAITH RXD Houma, LA Chapter Director.
This month we begin our power theme. Next week I hope we look at what exactly does biblical power means and how that manifests. But for this week, I aim to walk us through the knowledge that power will hurt and require strength. How much strength work have you put into your workouts? Are you prepared to endure the pain in those last reps? As you do this workout, remember to embrace the pain, understanding the correlations that it brings with strength and power.
28 min 2EMOM (every 2 min)
8 back squat at 60% of 1RM
Romans 8:28-29 ESV
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
I had such a cool message for ya’ll based on 2 Timothy 1:7! It was so well thought out. I loved how I intended to flesh out God’s power, what that means, and how it’s manifested in our lives. Overnight, my message was deleted- by life.
Now I find myself displaced from my home after Hurricane Ida decimated our community. Even so, I insisted on keeping my commitment to write Faith and Fitness workouts. I thought I understood God’s power before, but now I’ve experienced it on a new level. I’m physically drained, emotionally taxed; but I humbly ask that you would give me a few minutes of time so I can share what God has shown me during this trial about His power and His glory.
Go back and reread today’s verse. This time meditate on it. Think about it. What could be more powerful? There is nothing you, nor I, nor us collectively could do, no matter how evil, that God will not use for good. I have a God-fearing friend, whom God saved from heroin, who once told me: “When we see destruction, God sees restoration.”
This week, I prayed that sentence with people inside homes without roofs, before a pile of rubbish that once was their home.
One woman, in particular, confessed this was the third time she had lost her home to a storm and was not sure she could start over again.
One friend told me her parents have a church, and they had no wind in their sails to start the cleanup. Hurricane Ida flattened all but one of their buildings.
Our chapter worship leader lost her home entirely. Hurricane Ida blew the doors off her house. It took the roof off the building, causing significant water and wind damage inside. She lost the new piano she had bought and the old vintage one that stood in her living room before. She has nowhere to live today.
Yet still, “When we see destruction, God sees restoration.”
You have to hear this part- If you love him. Do not miss that part of the verse. If you love him, He is working this for your good. What an audacious yet powerful thing to say, and even more so to believe! Yet, it is true!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
I find it curious that Paul instructs us to be strong in Jesus and his might/power. We are creatures, not gods, and thus incapable of understanding His power. As a result, when in the presence of His might/power, Paul begs that we be strong. Why do you think that is? Paul understands that God’s power is not something that will be easy for us to experience.
It’s no different than how we develop power at the gym. CrossFit defines power exactly as intensity. It even offers a formula: P = FxD/T. That is, power is force times distance over time. It’s a fancy way to measure how fast you can work. And if you have been doing CrossFit for any time, I do not have to flesh out how much strength that will require. Simply put, to become more powerful, you will need to be strong. It will not be easy. It comes with pain. It will hurt. A lot!
I cannot stop thinking about how here in South Louisiana, we are experiencing God’s power. Not just in the sense of a hurricane, but rather in that God is restoring His saints. He is refocusing our community to observe the blessing of life, the blessing of a roof, a pet, family, community.
He is magnifying His glory in the love that pours over us when the more privileged lends a hand. His glory is displayed when the church acts like the church. When instead of bending to the encumbrance of trials, it seeks to serve and not be served. We choose not to get in our cars and make long lines at churches in search of supplies but instead get in line to volunteer and donate the little we have left. That kind of power requires us to be strong. That kind of power will hurt.
Romans 8:29 ESV
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
And there it is… the good in it all; God’s immeasurable power, the strength necessary to endure exposure to it. The sole purpose is to transform us into more Christ-like people.
As fitness enthusiasts, how can we not love and understand this?! Whether we join CrossFit for transformation or not, sooner rather than later, every athlete learns to fall in love with the transformative process. It can be our physical transformation or perhaps our mental transformation.
I cannot recount how many athletes I meet tell me they used to hate going to the gym but now wake up early on a Saturday because they want to start their day right. Or the CrossFit junkie who puts in extra work on the bike or the rings after a class. There are countless examples to illustrate how our mindset about fitness, not just our bodies, has been transformed by CrossFit. And yet, we cannot recount precisely when or where this happened. We are just grateful that it did because it is so, so good!
I cannot recount when secular music stopped being enjoyable. Or when movies with crass language sounded like nails on a chalkboard. I cannot tell you when finding a church on vacation became a priority or when a day without reading scripture felt worse than a day without a barbell.
But here is what I do know. By the grace of God, through His almighty power, like a hurricane, He ravaged the foundations of my life. I saw the destruction. He saw restoration. I cried tears of pain. He cried tears of joy. For His son was in the process of sanctification and would one day look back and see the good.
What could be more powerful?
Mais down the bayou has been flattened bad bad? Chooooooo! It’s a good ting I trust the Lord yea? Pardon my cajun.
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- What was the workout like for you? Did God reveal anything to you while you did it?
- Is there something in your life that you view destructive, that maybe God wants to instead use as an opportunity to restore?
- What ways were you challenged by in today’s message?