Five months ago, I began a new journey to better my health and fitness. I have loved living an active lifestyle and enjoyed healthy foods for as long as I can remember. Eating with a balanced diet has always been encouraged and I have found it extremely beneficial to my overall wellness, mind, and body.
In October of 2019, I started lifting weights. I did the occasional little arm workouts with some five-pound dumbbells that had sat in my garage forever, but never numerous sets of reps with specific guidelines on form; nothing that had really pushed me.
When I started adding heavier weights and extended strength training into my daily workouts, I felt silly realizing how little I actually knew about this specific form of exercise. I did research, talked to friends and family that had more knowledge on the topic, and decided to do things the right way, rather than just figure it out for myself and hoping it was right. A few weeks after my starting point, I found the workouts that I had gotten used to, were becoming very easy. I was getting through them faster and I felt my weights were too light if I wanted to continue to make progress. I increased the weights, took a little more time to get through my routine, and felt stronger than ever. As a girl who’s always been small framed, this feeling of strength was so exciting! It took some time to get into the swing of things and see and feel results, but it has been so worth it. Strength training has become so fun for me and I have explored so many new things that have contributed to my overall health because of it.
I do believe that physical health is important and even encouraged by God in a modest and holy manner (Romans 12:1 and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20), but as I was improving my strength on the outside, I felt something stir up on the inside. It takes just as much mental strength to wake up and go to the gym every day as it does to complete the workout with the physical strength you have.
It takes time and effort to build a relationship with God. We can’t simply wake up one day and be this great minister we see ourselves being all of the sudden. “Good things come to those who wait.” But God isn’t going to do something for us that we can do ourselves. It takes dedication and sincerity. It takes motivation every single day to dig deep into The Word of God and spend extended time in prayer and communication with Him. I can go into the gym and spend thirty minutes lifting small weights that will get me nowhere, or I can pick up the dumbbells that are a little difficult for me to carry but take my time building strength that will last and only improve with time.
The word “vitality” means “the state of being strong and active; or liveliness and energy.” If I am as disciplined to strengthen my “outer man,” then how much more disciplined should I be with my soul; the one thing that will last and spend eternity in one of two places? How much am I investing in my time spent with God and my ministry? Am I looking for new ways to improve my communication skills so that I can be a better witness? What am I listening to or watching to activate the leadership inside of me? This process has been such an examination of health in so many ways.
To move mountains with our prayers and see nations saved, we must have a daily check-up of our spiritual health and work towards new strengths. When our wells run dry and we need a drink, where will we turn? How will we refuel? You and I have the opportunity to be a great witness for The Kingdom of God, but before we do so, let us check our vitality and become the strongest generation yet. Keep your Bible open for a few minutes longer and look into that word or phrase that’s tugging at your heart. Spend a little more time praying for yourself and those around you that need hope. Find a way to get involved in Kingdom work that may be a little uncomfortable at first, but you never know where and how God will allow you to be strengthened and be a strengthening factor for His sake.
Hannah lives in Northwest Arkansas, attends Calvary Tabernacle Bentonville, and works as an administrative assistant for a local and well-loved breakfast spot. She loves serving in CTKids at her church, baking, and enjoying the beautiful natural state during all seasons.