As I continue to train for my bodybuilding contest, it has become apparently clear that I have a significant weakness: I have wimpy lats. The latissimus dorsi are a muscle group that appear like wings on your back. The first time someone pushed on them and told me to move them, I couldn’t. My brain could not send signals to my lats to move because I’ve never focused on moving them without engaging my arms.
Of course, I’ve used my lats while doing numerous activities, like swimming and stretching. They happen to be the largest muscle group in the back. However, you don’t really put heavy weight on your lats unless you doing a chin-up or you’re holding heavy objects above your head and taking them down, which is not something I regularly do.
In fact, I do a lot of typing at a computer, which requires me to keep my lats very still, so I can sweep my fingers evenly across the keyboard. I haven’t realized until just recently how important my posture is while I write. When my body form is slouched at the computer, my poor lats are taking a beating. No wonder they are weak!
I’ve struggled with this weakness. I almost want to give up on certain bodybuilding poses because I think my lats will never measure up. Instead of planning on how to put extra effort into strengthening this area of weakness, I struggle with thoughts of giving up and claiming defeat. I have other muscles in my body that are strong, but I’m allowing this one weakness to cause me to have a negative attitude.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1.7 NIV).
The thing about a negative attitude, however, is that it is not from God. The scary truth is that if my attitude is negative, than I’m not submitting this area of my life to God’s authority. And if this area of my life is not controlled by God, it can be controlled by the Enemy. Every area of darkness not under the authority of God is a playground for the Enemy’s lies and deception. He wants us to have a negative attitude, so he can wield his wily control.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10.10 ESV).
Therefore, I’m giving my lats to the Lord, and I’m choosing to keep a truly positive attitude. I can only do the best I can do. I will give my 100% effort to strengthening them, and I will trust God to bless my faithfulness. The same goes for any area of weakness in my life, whether it be in my mind, heart, relationships, emotions, body, etc.
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12.10 NIV).
I know we hall have weakness, but that weakness does not overshadow how great our God is. God is awesome! He created each of us uniquely. He loves each of us individually. And He has a purpose for each of us specifically. He knows our weakness, and He can work powerfully when we submit that weakness to Him. We don’t have to hide from God and live in shame. Jesus came not to shame us but to free us!
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3.17 NIV).
So instead of hiding our weaknesses from God, let us lay them all out before the mercy seat of HIs throne. He already knows about them, but He simply needs us to surrender them to His mighty care and redemption.