Psalm 84:5-7: Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
It has been a dreary week most of this week. Although we have had a couple really good days the majority of this week was raining and cool. One of my good friends told me that the mountains of North Carolina are beautiful when it’s sunny but the autumn rains last forever.
In one of my devotions this week I ran across a beautiful scripture. I love the image that the Psalmist projects in this writing in Psalm 84. It is an inspiring look at the splendor of God and a blessings that come from following him. And it gives a new look at the autumn rain.
Verse 5-7 speak of the rain in the desert valley. This is a blessing to me when the rainy gloom seems to settle in on me. God’s blessings are like those rains in dessert and the pools that gather. We go from pool to pool gathering strength. The rainy, dreary day is just a reminder of God’s blessings and provision.
Matthew Henry explains this in his commentary, “The pilgrims to the heavenly city may have to pass through many a valley of weeping, and many a thirsty desert; but wells of salvation shall be opened for them, and consolations sent for their support. Those that press forward in their Christian course, shall find God add grace to their graces. And those who grow in grace, shall be perfect in glory.”
The weather has made it hard for me to get my exercise in this week. It doesn’t just make it hard for me to get outside and walk, run, or jog. It also makes it hard for me to get motivated when it is dreary.
When it is cold, dreary, and wet outside you need to make sure there is a fire burning inside. The warmth from the fire inside will help you get motivated. I do this in two ways:
The first thing I do is remember that “this is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Lately, I have been doing the thirty days of gratitude in November. When you spend some time looking for things to be grateful for and trying to encourage and show appreciation to others then your fire will start to burn bright.
The second thing that I do is come up with alternative plan for getting exercise in. It’s kind of fun to think of new ways to exercise. Here are a few that I have thought up. Some of them I have actually used this week.
1. Choose to move. It is easy to sit down or sleep in on gloomy days. Set your alarm and get up… don’t hit the snooze. Try doing some housework.
2. Put some shoes and magazines in a clothes basket and picked it up and put it down repeatedly. Make sure to keep your abs tight and lift with your knees instead of your back.
3. I have stairs in the back of house going down to the basement. So I have walked up a down them repeatedly as if it was a step exercising machine.
4. I also set the timer on my stove stove while working in the office or watching TV. This way at intervals I will get up and move.
5. Moving furniture is another way to brighten up the castle and also get some more movement in.
6. Put on some music and dance. (You may want to draw the curtains first cause this ain’t always a pretty picture for the neighbors.)
7. Instead of saying, “Honey, could you get me…”, you might try getting up and getting it yourself. Better yet, keep asking others if you can get them something. It will help you move more and it will make your spouse wonder what you are trying to do!
8. Play with your dog, cat, grandchildren, etc. – run and chase each other. You can also borrow the neighbor’s kids and do some babysitting so they have a mommy’s day out.
9. By a jump-o-line. They are inexpensive, fit in a closet, and you can exercise by jumping up and down in a small place.
10. Visit websites and see what others are doing too.
Feel free to comment on some of your rainy day ideas to move more.
Dear Lord, Thank you for these cool, wet days that remind us of your blessings and grace. You abundantly poor out your help and provision. Keep the fire burning in me so I don’t get lazy in my weight loss journey and so I don’t lose step in my walk with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” -Rabindranath Tagore
“You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it.” -Denzel Washington