A Worn Out Body for a Renewed Spirit

I'm excited to share my post from the Revelation Wellness blog. Enjoy!

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“Renew me, Jesus!” I panted as I took hold of the chain link fence in the empty parking lot. My workout partner nodded in agreement as we readied our feet on the pavement for a final sprint in the dark hours of the early Wednesday morning.

My body was tired. Not only was I sleepy, but my legs were weak. Gravity felt stronger than usual.

My spirit was dry. The previous night I had hosted a Bible study, surprised my husband with 10-year anniversary gifts, and stayed up late decorating for my daughter’s 4th birthday. Now, I was leading the charge in our workout. I was supposed to be the strong one. I wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep. 

But I couldn’t. I was there, feeling the full weight of my mortality, struggling to press through each moment, while the day’s responsibilities still loomed ahead. 

WEAKNESS TO STRENGTH, DEATH TO LIFE

This verse became real to me that morning,

“Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:10

We may not be sent to suffer and die on a cross like our Lord, but each of us experiences the weakness of our flesh every day. We feel tired, we get sick, we sustain injuries, we endure pain, and we grow older. Some suffering is passive. 

Yet some suffering is active. Each time we exercise, we choose stress. And an interesting thing happens: fitness doesn’t make us more tired, but more alive! When we do that extra push-up or squat or deadlift outside our comfort zone, the muscles undergo microscopic tears. This mini trauma activates a repair response in the body, leading to bigger, stronger, and more numerous muscle fibers.

RENEW US, JESUS

That early morning in the parking lot, I vowed to turn every pain into prayer. Each time I felt my body saying, “No more!” I said in my spirit, “Renew me, Jesus!” I found myself calling on His name so much that I started focusing less on myself and turning my thoughts more towards Him. 

As muscle tears generate a healing response, suffering in Christ transforms pain into praise. 

We, like the rest of mankind, are still subject to the futility our our finite bodies. But we, like Jesus, are being transformed from one degree of glory to another. We have fellowship with Him in our pain, and bit by bit, thought by thought, word by word, and step by step, we become like Him in daily deaths as preparation for our never-ending life together. 

With Jesus, pain is no longer a dead-end but a door to renewal. 

THE GREAT EXCHANGE

I prepped my partner for our final exercise: “Imagine this is the end of your life, and Jesus is waiting for you with open arms. Run as you would run to Him!”

We set off, legs flying and hearts pounding. Fixing my eyes ahead, I moved forward as if Jesus Himself were really there. My sore limbs and burning lungs protested, but I ignored them and sprinted with everything I had. Breaking through the finish line, it felt like I had shed the weight of a worn-out body for a renewed spirit. I felt lighter, happier, free. Maybe it was the adrenaline…or maybe it was Jesus. 

Where are you feeling weary, worn-out, and run-down? Every time your body or spirit says, “It hurts! I can’t! No more!” respond with, “Renew me, Jesus.” Let Him shift your focus to His eternal purposes as you carry the treasure of His life in a precious jar of clay. Exchange the pain for praise, weakness for strength, and wasting for renewal.

Kasey ShulerComment