Last week was stressful. There were no major crises, just a huge accumulation of normal responsibilities, demands, stresses, and pressures. They built up until eventually I melted down. It was not my proudest moment.
As I prayed about what I was feeling, I realized that this was not a battle I should try to pray through alone. So I enlisted a friend to pray with me.
We talked and read Scripture and brainstormed solutions together Then she prayed for me. I knew the Holy Spirit was helping her because her words were all spot on. I was starting to settle into a blanket of peace when she jolted me back with, “Lord, would You give Cynthia big biceps? As she pushes through these trials and pressures, would You cause her faith muscles to grow and her trust to go deeper?”
I burst out laughing. Big spiritual biceps! I’ve never had anyone pray that for me before! But I realized that was just what I needed. It’s kind of like what the Apostle James said when he encouraged us to “Consider it pure joy … whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (1:2-3).
When I think of trials, I usually think of them as something to be survived. I don’t always see much benefit to them. But if they are producing big biceps—spiritual endurance and perseverance that brings about spiritual maturity and completeness (1:4), then that’s something different. I’m still not ready to say “Bring them on, Lord!” But I am willing to say, “If You can use these pressures to increase my faith, then I’m willing, Lord. Give me bigger biceps!”