It’s training season around here. Walking and jogging on the treadmill and on our gravel road. Strengthening our muscles through weights and resistance. Sweating it out on the spin bike. Preparing our bodies for the season ahead.

It's training season! Are you finding yourself in one, too?

Yes, training season is here. As I type that, the thought that follows comes with a question.

Isn’t it always training season?

My husband and I are tandem bicyclists, and this is the season we train for our upcoming bicycling season. Iowa’s bicycling season is quite dependent on the weather. We consider it bicycling season as soon as the weather is fit for our two tires and bodies to hit the trails, and until the cold weather returns in the fall.

And from experience, one (or two) must train for this season of miles on bicycle seats. Otherwise, we’ll pay the price of sore muscles (and rears), inefficiency in our cycling, and joyless miles. Who wants to peddle through joyless miles? Been there, done that. No thank you.

Hence, training season is critical. It occurs before the real season begins. It prepares us for the real thing. By practice and perseverance, it helps develop our muscles (and rears!), our stamina, our mental toughness, our attitudes, and everything else for the organized rides we peddle in during the season.

But, isn’t every day an opportunity for training?

In God’s realm, isn’t every day a day for training, teaching, molding, transforming? Isn’t each day an opportunity to learn from God?

I find through every-day kind of circumstances, God continues to teach me. He’s at work training me and molding me into the woman He desires me to be. I look back and am thankful I’m not the woman I once was, yet I look ahead and realize I’m not yet the woman I’m designed to be. He’s not done with me yet! God trains me through His Word, through my mistakes, through experiences, through lessons this life brings my way. He’s training me in this season for the next.

Reject worldly fables. Refuse old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself toward godliness. Although training your body has certain payoffs, godliness benefits all things—holding promise for life here and now and promise for the life that is coming.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 NIRV

But, this season isn’t my favorite.

Sure, it’s fun to get out on the trails together after a long, cold winter. There’s nothing like the freeing feeling of the first few spring rides. Soon after, however, the reality of training sets in, and I can quickly lose my joy if I don’t keep focused on the season for which we are preparing. No, training season is not my favorite.

Training season can be down-right hard. It can be painful. It can become boring and monotonous. And, on some days, we might feel like quitting. Training, however, is for our good. This reminds me a little of God’s training.

Our parents trained us for a little while. They did what they thought was best. But God trains us for our good. He does this so we may share in his holiness. 1No training seems pleasant at the time. In fact, it seems painful. But later on it produces a harvest of godliness and peace. It does this for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:10-11 NIRV

Friend, are you walking through a season of training in life?

Are you feeling God’s discipline? His hand of correction? Or, maybe you’re learning some hard, tough, real-life lessons. Is it possible you’re waiting for the breakthrough that’s not present yet? This training doesn’t feel good. It’s painful. It’s unpleasant. You want to get on to the next season. You want to experience that harvest of godliness and peace that’s referenced above. Oh, the glorious harvest of godliness and peace!

Oh, how I can relate. Not only in bicycling training, but in my life. The last few months have been a season of God’s training. It’s been challenging, painful, wearisome. It’s lasted so long. But, glimmers of hope are appearing on the horizon. I can begin to see how God is preparing me for the next, real season. He’s changing me from the inside-out. No wonder it’s been painful!

Training season is a mixture of pain and blessing.

It may not be pleasant, but friend, it’s worth it. God’s trains us so we can share in His holiness. That makes it worth it!

As I work through the pain of training for bicycle season now, I’ll be thankful for this season this summer. I’ll be grateful for the pain and the blessing of training.

Hang in there, friend. God’s got us for His purposes in this season. Let’s thank Him for the pain and blessing of training as He molds us into who He desires us to be.

Father God, thank you for your seasons of training. Your Word says if we are loved by you, we will be trained by you. Thank you for loving us enough to train us, to change us, to transform us. Thank you for not leaving us as we once were. Even though these seasons of training can be hard, Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you. Help us to see the good you’re bringing from this season. Encourage our hearts through it. May it all be for our good and for your glory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Much love,

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