“David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30.6 AMP).
When I trained for Mix Martial Arts, I had several trainers pour their hearts and talents into me. Having multiple teachers helped me to learn fast, but that quick growth came at a high cost — I had major growing pains for two months. I was overwhelmed, exhausted and changing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually every single day! Not only is MMA Cage Fighting one of the hardest sports in existence, it was also completely foreign to me. I was starting from ground zero, trying to get into fighting condition in eight weeks. At nights I wouldn’t take any pain medicine (Advil) because I had to take them to get through my two daily training sessions. I would lie awake in bed with a heating pad on my neck (I pulled all the muscles in my neck) and an ice pack on my chest (I got chest contusions from sparring), and I would cry out in pain because everything hurt. I could barely move, and I still had dozens of training and sparring sessions left to go. All I could do during those long nights was encourage myself in the Lord. I’d tell myself over and over again that God had a plan for this craziness, and that it would all be a over soon. I’d remind myself that God would not allow me to go through anything that He did not think I could handle (Romans 8.37 NIV). Trusting that God had a purpose for my pain made it easier to bear, and I firmly believed that He would use it to shine His glory (1 Peter 1.6 NIV). I found strength in God when I reached my limits, and I forced myself to stretch beyond my current capacity (Isaiah 41.10). As I look back, those nights are now some of my sweetest memories. I clung tightly to God, and He helped me to push through and reach my victory.
God, thank You for getting me through those difficult nights and bringing me closer into relationship with You. I praise You for teaching me how to encourage and strengthen myself in You. God, You helped me accomplish the challenge that You set before me, and my faith in You has grown stronger and deeper. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.