Today I arrived at the YMCA for a swim, and as I walked in the door I read a sign, “Pool closed until Sunday, Feb. 28th”. Slightly aggravated, I ran into my new swimming buddy, Jeff, the fifty year old was in a car accident, has some disabilities, and has a great way of renewing my perspective. He told me some kid pooped in the pool and we couldn’t swim, which brought a good laugh to me. But it actually was time for the pool’s bi-annual cleaning.
I had just met a friend for a bagel with loads of cream cheese. Anticipating that I was going to work off my bagel later, I enjoyed every bite. My friend and I talked about our similar back, hip, and leg pains. We compared notes of what we could and couldn’t do as far as our activities were concerned. Her restrictions from her doctor really made common sense.
As I listened to her doctor’s cautions for her to walk shorter walks twice a day, no vacuuming or toilet washing, I wondered if I have not healed as quickly because I’ve been so adamant about working out and spring cleaning before the books arrived. I have not slowed down to heal completely. I had not been choosing to restrain myself from doing all that I really wanted to do.
As we talked, I shared that I had this list that I wanted to accomplish before the books release, which we are told may be mid-March. Literally, here it comes – March madness!! Realizing that this time of being injured might be God’s provision for me to “be still and know” – know that “all is well” – know that God’s timing is perfect – know that this time is to be “a time of refreshing” before I hit the road to share the message. I realized after talking with my friend today that I needed to cease striving and rest in the fact that my body is not physically ready for the strain of spring cleaning, or even running again. I need to let my agenda go – to grasp God’s.
So, since I couldn’t swim and I had driven to the Y, I decided to walk my mile, do my core exercises, and then sit in the steam room. I am a rare woman, I actually like to sweat. I think it makes me feel like I got a good workout. Now that I am swimming I just don’t sweat, so I’ve resolved to sit in the heat until I do.
“Burr-cheee,” the steam quickly filled the tiny white room like fog. The warmth enveloped my body and immediately I felt relaxed. I happened to be alone and spent a few minutes in prayer. As I sat in the steam, it occurred to me that the steam is such a great visual aid of the Holy Spirit.
Like the Israelites in the desert, the LORD led them, with a “cloud by day and fire by night.” There sure are times in my life I wish God’s leading was clearer. I wish we could see the Spirit all around us, leading us. But I guess that’s where our faith comes into play. We must walk by faith not by sight; fixing our eyes on the unseen.” (2 Cor. 5:7, 2 Cor. 4:18)
There are times we sense the Spirit’s warmth, or are so moved we might even break out into a sweat! These occasions might be rare, but our spirit identifies with His Spirit…and we just know His presence is with us. Take with you today the steam room mentality – His Spirit is in you, His loving presence surrounds you, He holds you with is righteous right hand. Believe in the unseen. Let it calm your soul and know that “all is well.”
Trust. God is leading. I’m adopting my friend’s common sense restrictions for awhile, and God’s agenda to wait on the spring cleaning to do list. I’m thankful for a husband who vacuums. If I could just get him to clean the toilets.