Jan and I are away from home a lot in this season because of the calling God placed on our lives. This kind of life requires pacing, rest and the intentional care of our bodies in order to rightly steward what God has us doing. We try to watch what we eat and continue our daily physical workouts while on the road to keep the internal machinery of our bodies working properly.
Years ago as a young cop, I learned the value of running stairs. In those days, part of my workout would include running up and down stairs two at a time for twenty minutes inside the stairwell of a high-rise government building. The workout was intense getting my heart rate up and working my leg muscles. At my age, I no longer run stairs, I walk them one at a time for twenty minutes.
Typically, our ministry hosts are kind enough to provide a hotel when we travel. When we are in a hotel, I still use stairs for my workout whenever possible. I don’t like hotel gyms. On a recent trip, Jan and I were staying in a nine-story hotel. Each morning before breakfast we were in the stairwell for twenty minutes getting our workout. As I went up and down for those twenty minutes, the Lord gave me a word.
Seasons of life that seem like a long descent are no less part of the journey than a season where you are ascending to something higher. A descent is actually the required preparation for your next ascent. I realized as I was going down real stairs, I was using different muscles than going up. It also required more focus where I placed my feet so that I would not stumble and fall.
Just as I did several times in a hotel stairwell a couple of days ago, after every ascent, I would eventually walk down into the very basement of the hotel. It was now time to turn around and climb once again. I had to make that choice several times during my work out if I was to keep moving.
If you have been descending for a season your descent will come to an end at some point. When you run out of stairs in the basement of this experience you will have to choose to make a turnaround. This turnaround will not be a miracle from heaven that will override your will. It will be your choice to simply turn around and begin a new ascent into a new season.
This is the stuff of faith. Your spiritual life is not always a glamorous, neon light show from Heaven. You may find yourself in a basement season but the basement is never your final destination. It is the place of your next choice of faith. A basement is the end of one season where a decision to turnaround and begin a new ascent awaits your arrival. The conditioning of your will is part of what keeps you in spiritual shape for the long haul. You will have many more seasons of ascent and descent ahead of you. It’s all part of the journey.