“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”
2 Peter 1:5-7
Ankles are amazing.
I’m just finding this out for the first time now. Why, you may ask?
Back before Christmas I sprained and fractured one. And now that it doesn’t work properly, I really really appreciate the one that does.
I’m fresh off the sit and rest and put my foot up phase. That was crucial – at least six weeks of inactivity are needed to set a bone properly.
But now I’ve entered phase two.
Phase Two is different.
No more sitting around with my feet up. Now I need to move that ankle as much as I can. See, while I was resting, the bone healed. But it also seized up as a result of not moving it for 2 months.
Now comes the hard part.
And effort it is.
Every hour or so, I need to get it going – train it to flex and point and twist like it used to.
Here’s the thing – it doesn’t wanna.
It wants to rest. It wants to be propped up and treated like a diva. It wants nothing to do with physiotherapy exercises.
Yet if I let it do what it naturally wants to do, the healing will remain incomplete. That ankle, although the deep healing has been accomplished, will remain stiff and awkward without some effort on my part. It won’t perform as it could.
Before these beautiful words from Peter, the apostle goes through an amazing encouraging message all about how God has given us everything we need to live a life of faith. Read it. It will bless your socks off.
And without your socks, you’ll have a good view of your ankles.
And then you’ll have some insight about how this whole life of faith works in day to day living.
See, God does the deep work – the healing, the forgiving, the redeeming, the cleansing. That’s Phase 1, the heavy lifting.
Then comes my part.
My part is small. Point and flex. Twist and bend. Tiny steps of faith, keeping my heart limber and soft and flexible, stepping into the promises of a Mighty God who is always, ever, working in and through me.
But without that effort, that desire to take the promises of God and run with them, my faith will remain awkward and stiff – unpracticed, impractical.
We need to respond to the promises of God.
It’s not always comfortable. It’s a little like physio – we have to move forward in faith over and over again, break up the complacency and work against our very nature to love a life marked by kindness, grace, and forgiveness. It doesn’t come easy. It can hurt sometimes. We need practice.
But oh, the beauty of a life as described in this passage! Because the end result of responding in obedience is love.
Will you do your ‘physio’ with me?
Father, Your promises are great! Remind us of all that we are equipped with because of the death of Your Son. Then, move us into Phase 2, where we will work at our faith, practice the hard selflessness and godliness, flexing our spiritual muscles until we build habits which will keep us walking in Your footsteps. Amen.
One thought on “Effort”
Such a great lesson! We must keep moving, flexing, strengthening. God does the heavy lifting, but we must do our part.
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