STRETCCCCHHHHH …

NO KIDDING … out of the blue an authoritative voice speaks from the black cylinder on the counter … it’s dear old Alexa poking her nose in my business …

“It’s time to stand up and stretch!”

What??

Where did that come from?

Does she read minds or somehow sense our inner thoughts? 

CRAZY! She never said THAT before!!

TRUTH … I was feeling a little stretching going on this week, as in,

“being stretched”

Are you a stretcher?

Some people stretch in the morning when they get out of bed. Some stretch when standing up after a long sit. Some before exercise. Some stretch longer than they exercise😉 And some read books on stretching: it is their exercise!😉😉 (You know who you are. 😂)

A book lays in my house, gifted by a dear friend on the proper ways to stretch and the importance of it. Stretching can be serious business. Some people have made it a business!

When I say “I’m stretched”, I picture the old torture chamber where they strap down your limbs to a wooden table. They then crank, the bed extending, and your body literally pulls as well. Horrible horrible thought and experience … torture!

Sometimes my life, growth, changes, feel internally like the stretching on a wooden table. It’s terrifying, uncomfortable and can even extend to painful and torture!! 

Many times my stretching is as unwelcomed as that wooden table of torture. Why can’t it all be easy, or taken in stride, or happen with such minimal impact I barely notice?

All those “stretching/yoga people” look so zen! 

Isn’t stretching supposed to be a good thing?

We all know before the beautiful blooms of spring; winter takes place. It’s this cold, barren hard time that prepares the soil and plant for growth. Only thing is when things seem barren, hard and cold in life, it doesn’t feel like a good thing.

As the roots grow the stem, it bursts up through the soil … it’s hard work. Have you tried moving dirt above your head, maybe a mountain? It can exhaust and sometimes feel like you’re not going to make it or you’re going to shatter into pieces before the break through. Sometimes we do shatter, life can be plain devastating, terrifying and painful! 

Every ending isn’t sunshine and roses. It just isn’t, if we’re honest. I know lots of times we hear the verse about God bringing good out of every situation. We’re taught God will take our misery and use it.

We forget the last three words or glamorize it as our culture might …. He’ll use it “For His Glory”.

“For His Glory”… not our glory! To be honest, sometimes I think we fantasize what that means translated into our 21st century culture. Something like this … we may think it or others may tell us …

“I’m going through this hellish time, the worst time of my life. In fact, some days I’m not even sure I’ll make it through. But, God is going to use it! I’ll come shining through and have this magnanimous testimony and will be exalted to a Platform/Stage person, Speaker, sought-after Conference Leader, Bible Study Teacher, Podcast guest, Influencer, or have 1 million followers on Instagram to make the pain worth it.”

I’m being snarky here, but there is a lot of “me” in the above scenario; what “I” will gain out of my pain. Yes, God can do anything with anything! But, God, using our misery doesn’t make it any more appealing.

Do I have to be miserable for Him to use me? ….. NO! A thousand times NO!!

This imperfect life will hand us pain, stretching, even torture. When it does, God will use it for His Glory! I may never see it or feel it. It’s not my responsibility to figure that out, it just says He will, in His way.

What if, “For His Glory”, is drawing me close to His chest and learning to trust Him more? What if it is personal/private, not public? What if it brings Him glory for me to have internal growth, which turns my heart more fully to Him? What if my roots sink deeper in His love and become more dependent on him? What if God doesn’t waste a single tear and so when the hurt of this world reaches His child, He so loves me that His overflowing love for me refuses to let this imperfect world win and declares a victory I don’t understand in my flesh?

If for one second, I realize God loves me, cares for me, and fights for me an inkling more than what I formerly knew … He just received Glory! My heart turned to His. We see each other, He’s with me and it’s good, very good for my soul to acknowledge that … He received glory.

Remember when screams accompanied a running child with skinned knees and shins. We wouldn’t wish that on them for one second. It wasn’t a good thing. Life didn’t have to hand them that, but the odds are … something like it would happen on their journey through childhood: bikes fall over, runners trip, cement meeting flesh is harsh. Their hurt leads to our embrace, which reinforces our love and care. They learn Mom/Dad are trustworthy; “they love me”.

The world didn’t notice. They did not give “Parent of the Year” award. No public display of “God’s Glory” was seen. My child may not even remember in five years. But it built love and trust and grew what was there into a stronger relationship.

I think of my stretching like that!
It’s natural in my journey; just like spring bursting forth!

That does not make it anymore comfortable or welcomed!

Anybody else relate?

Anybody feeling stretched?

I do not intend to make a business out of stretching!

I don’t even want to read the book!

“Alexa, Off!”

To God be the Glory,

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