Growing up, I was a huge Michael Jordan fan. I used to watch the Slam Dunk contest and then try to duplicate him on our neighbor’s adjustable goal. My room was covered in posters and my feet were covered by his shoes. I watched “Come Fly With Me” almost every day. It highlighted the early part of his career. There was a scene in there that I remember well. Early in his second season with the Bulls, he broke a bone in his foot. It put him out most of the season. The video talked about his dedication to getting better and showed videos of him working out. One image still sticks with me. He was walking through a pool with his shoes on.
In order for him to go on in his career, he had to strengthen his foot. They put him in a pool and had him walk through it as fast as he could while slaloming. The water in the pool provided resistance and that resistance is what gave him strength to go on. I didn’t understand it at the time, but now I get it. I’ve seen God use the same “therapy” in my life and in other’s too. He provides resistance to make us stronger than we are, but we typically just want out of the pool.
Habakkuk 3:19 says, “The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering or responsibility! (AMP)” We get weak and break down when we forget that God is our strength. We are defeated when we fight our own battles instead of allowing Him to use His invincible army. We hunker down and stay still instead of moving when we are controlled by fear or pain. But God wants us to move forward in those times.
He knows that resistance makes us stronger. He understands that we need to make spiritual progress no matter what is in front of us. The Scripture didn’t say that we make our own feet like hinds’ feet. It says He does that. We are the ones who have to be willing to let Him. We have to take those steps of spiritual progress in the tough times. We have to push through the waters in order to grow our strength. God is for you and is using the difficult times to give you the strength to endure.
Here’s another one of God’s promises to you. Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you go through the deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. (NLT)” The rivers of difficulty aren’t fun, but they are necessary to give us strength. We can push forward and rely on God’s promise that He is with us during those times and that He will not let us drown. Your spiritual progress is important to God. Keep walking through that river and hold your head up. God is working in you.