For Your Profit ... After A While
I used to read James Fixx' "The Complete Book of Running" when I was in the university. I was then physically running almost each day for at least an hour to train for chess and basketball competitions. What's amazing is that whenever I felt the tiredness and pain after the running, there'd always follow exhilirating feelings and sparkling glow! Fixx explained the feeling this way: "Such factors as willpower, ability to apply effort during extreme fatigue, and the acceptance of pain -- have a radiating power that subtly influences one's life" (p. 4 of Fixx' book). That sounds familiar! That's exactly the way I feel after being spiritually exercised and built up by God's exercise program in my life. At the time of my personal crises, while there on my knees and in my pain, God was exercising me. He was saying, "For your profit, Angelo, all that happened! If you are to be used by Me in greater ways and in certain areas where I'm sending you, you need to absorb and understand some of these things." Then, I got reminded of a verse in Hebrews: "But He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10). There it is. God does exercise us that we might be "partakers of His holiness." Spiritual exercises "produce something in us" when faced with devastating crises and then the great results. "But the God of all grace, who has called us into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (1 Peter 5: 10). After a while indeed, we can then wake up alert and sing in the morning and be ready to go!