I grabbed a resistance band off the shelf at Target a few weeks ago. I knew I needed it for a series of workouts I was going to do, but never having used one before, I wasn’t sure what to purchase. Frankly, I went with the cheapest option I could find because it fit our budget.
Medium resistance, the box said.
Sounds about right, I thought.
The long blue band with black padded handles came home with me, and I forgot about for a few days. Then it was there, in my workout. Instructions to use this resistance band for one very specific move at the end of the series. I grabbed the handles, wrapped the band around my feet and paused to watch what I was supposed to do.
Two steps right. Two steps left.
Seemed easy enough, I thought.
For one minute we went side-to-side, the television instructing me, encouraging me, motivating me. And for ten seconds I felt pretty confident in my ability to finish this move. We weren’t even going anywhere. The steps were small, because the resistance in the bands was pressing in as my muscles pressed out, making me work harder for each move.
At 30 seconds in, I was slowing down.
By 50 seconds, I was using every part of my brain to shut out the screaming muscles in my quads and just. keep. going.
At 60 seconds I dropped the handles, palms to my knees to catch my breath. But I’d done it.
“We don’t stop when we get tired. We stop when it’s over. ” – Autumn Calabrese
It was an important lesson for me. Not just about how to use a resistance band for a workout (and that blue band was put to good use), but about my natural inclination to give up when it feels like everything is stacked against me. What I miss when I do that is the opportunity for my muscles – my brain, my heart, my talents – to grow stronger. When I get frustrated that progress feels like side-steps instead of forward-leaps, I miss the chance to settle into a rhythm that will strengthen me for the moment God says “now go.”
Let’s lean into the resistance that is pressing in so that we can grow stronger with each small step.
In those moments where I feel tired and empty and want to stop, I want to remember that I CAN keep going until it’s finished. Unless God has called you into a new opportunity, trust that He has you where you are for a reason. And if He’s keeping you there, it’s not finished. Rest. Call a friend for encouragement. Refuel on the Word. But keep going.
Where you are now and the resistance you’ll work through today will strengthen you for what God has planned for tomorrow. Don’t miss the opportunity to make even a tiny amount of progress – at the end of the day you’ll be that much closer to where God is asking you to go.
Q4U: How have you seen this in your own life, a time that working through a challenging season or relationship has strengthened you in ways that giving up never could?