Thursday, September 30, 2010

Strength in Adversity is Necessary for Life and Writing

I'm reading a chapter a day in Deuteronomy since that is the book of the Bible my pastor is preaching from right now. Today, it wasn't the scripture that contained a take-away for me, but the study note in my John MacArthur NASB Study Bible regarding Deut. 13:3 that says God was testing the Israelites to see how much they did love Him in the face of temptation. The study note states: "...while temptation was dangerous, the overcoming of that temptation would strengthen the people in their love for God and obedience to His commandments."

Temptations can be strength-builders when we overcome. I pondered this , but the lesson didn't hit full-force until I went to the gym and decided to increase the weights on some of the machines I use. The increase was only five pounds, but it made a huge difference in how easily I was able to do the reps. What had become fairly easy was suddenly more difficult. Yet I pushed on, straining at times, and accomplished my goals. Why? Because it's been proven that without increasing the resistance, my muscles will never strengthen. They need that extra weight in order to become stronger.

That got me thinking about adversity and trials beyond the temptations that I face every day. They provide increased weight to my inner soul, strengthening it like a muscle when I don't give up and stop resisting the temptation to climb on my pity pot. The harder I work at resisting and rising above the disappointments, the setbacks, the trials of life, the more I will depend on God to get me through. And the more my love for Him will increase as I realize He gives me EVERTHING I need for life.

How does that translate to my writing journey? Every rejection I receive (and there have been dozens over the years), every hard crit that points out flaws in my story, every time someone points out a typo that slipped past me before I posted my blog, or every bad interview I have at an editor appointment (and there have been very few), those times can benefit my strength and determination the same way increasing the weight on the leg press machine I use, similar to the one like the guy is using in the picture.

This morning I grimaced like him through most of the exercises, but I am now a bit stronger for having endured. And each disappointing experience I have with my writing will only make me stronger and more determined to grow from the experience, trusting God that He is in charge and is equipping me to better my craft. At the proper time I will reap a harvest if I don't give up. (See Galatians 6:9)

Bring on the weight!


Deborah Dee Harper said...


Thanks for reminding me that none of us would have gotten anywhere in our writing careers without some struggles. There are times when I feel the weights have been tripled overnight, but with God's help, I'm able to adjust, take a deep breath, and strengthen those writing muscles. Great post!


CDennis said...

What a perfect analogy! We are called to press on, no matter the adversity. So much can be gleaned from how, when we work harder at something, we will improve ourselves. Working out at the gym and pushing ourselves brings positive physical results; working out our tendencies to be negative, self-pitying, or using negative self-talk against ourselves by applying pressure to be more Christlike bring us soul-strengthening results!

Pamela Meyers said...

Cath and Deb, I'm so glad my spirit given insights this morning touched your hearts.

Press on!

Yvonne Anderson said...

Good stuff, Pam,
Thanks for sharing this.

- Y

Cheryl Linn Martin said...

But man it hurts at times, huh???

Thanks for the reminder of what it takes, Pam.

Kym McNabney said...

Love it, thanks for sharing. A great reminder to us all.