Stretching… It’s one of those things that all athletes know we should do, but it’s often skipped or overlooked when we’re short on training time. I know that I, for one, usually have to force myself to stretch after a run or hard workout. And yet, as I sit here sore today, I know that I need to spend some time stretching this afternoon so that I can comfortably get up and down my stairs!
Physical stretching is important because it helps us increase the range of motion in our joints, which decreases the chance of injury. It also increases blood flow to muscles so that they can heal quicker. But sometimes stretching is uncomfortable while you’re doing it, isn’t it?
Guess what – spiritual stretching is important, too! All through scripture, we see God calling people to step out of their comfort zones and allow Him to stretch and grow them. We see God say, “This might make you uncomfortable at first, but TRUST ME – I’ve got this,” to Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Isaiah, the apostles, and many others in scripture. And every time, when they let go of their objections and agree to trust, they see God work.
Can you think of a time when God was trying to stretch you? I know that for me, He has called me to teach during the council time of our AWANA program. As I prayed about this and realized that this was His will, it scared the crap out of me. I have been teaching women’s studies for the past 5 years or so. Grown ups. Not kids. Don’t get me wrong – I love kids, I love hanging with the kids, but teaching kids?! Getting in front of a group of kids and communicating a Bible story and hoping that they get something out of it? I was pretty sure that God had the wrong gal for the job – and some days I still think that! But I trusted in God’s promise that His grace would be sufficient and that His power is greater than my weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9). So I let Him stretch me. Is it uncomfortable at times? You bet! But He is growing me in my relationship with Him – I am seeing these accounts with fresh eyes as I figure out how to present them to an audience that is way outside of my comfort zone.
How is God trying to stretch you today? Are you willing to let go of your objections and trust Him? My prayer for you today is that you will!
(If you’re looking for a great resource for Bible lessons for kids, check out my friend Anne Marie’s blog at futureflyingsaucers.com)