As I age, my muscles tend to stiffen quickly if I stay in one position too long. A good morning and midday stretch echoes with ‘ow, ow, ow,’ but soon it feels ‘aaaaaah’ so good!
According to Healthline.com, stretching increases flexibility, range of motion, performance in physical activities, and blood flow to muscles. It improves posture, helps heal and prevent back pain, relieves stress, calms the mind, and decreases tension headaches.
The pain of surrendering to the stretch yields many benefits. Without it, my back, neck, and hips would soon be ‘stuck’ as my chiropractor likes to say.
Spiritual stretching can also be painful, but without it we remain weak and immature, ‘stuck’ in a state of infancy. Learning stretches our mind beyond the elementary truths of God’s Word. Growing in our faith helps develop strength to stand against temptation and the ability to persevere when trials and testing come. Those faith muscles mature as we exercise trusting in God and surrendering to Him. Constant use and training are necessary for us to continue to ‘run our race’ and ‘make it to the finish line.’
May we, like the apostle Paul, be able to say at the end of our life, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Therefore, “Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).
Now those are some spectacular benefits to s-t-r-e-tch-i-ng!