The Trainer

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    and my fingers for battle;

Psalm 144:1

We’ve all had that one professor or teacher who drops an assignment in our laps weighing 75% of our grade, with no directions, no verbalized expectations, no guidelines, and then hates everything anyone turns in. We’re also pretty familiar with the teacher who decides to test her students on absolutely nothing of which was covered in class. That’s always fun. I remember one nursing class in particular that was the epitome of such evil: Community Health Nursing.

Every exam, we would read, memorize, study, highlight – you name it, we did it. And without fail, every single exam was a curveball from outer space. We never had a clue about the content that showed up on the exam, which just made studying seem pointless.

Sometimes, I wrongly apply this perspective to life. It’s easy to lose focus and get distracted. Satan loves being able to fool us into making God the evil professor and life the unfair, never-ending class from hell.

The truth is this: life is a gift from above, not a curse, and God is the ever-mindful, detail-oriented teacher purely motivated by love. He isn’t motivated by a paycheck or by performance statistics. He invests in us because He loves us. That’s it. And unlike the professor who drops a random, unexplained assignment on his students and then proceeds to fail the whole class for not measuring up, our Heavenly Father diligently, lovingly prepares us for the task at hand.

What I love about Psalm 144:1 is that we see God as an involved investor in our lives. He doesn’t just give us a mission and expect us to figure it out ourselves. He trains our hands for war. He prepares our fingers for battle. He’s our personal trainer and we can trust Him because He IS our Rock. He’s strong enough, He’s skilled enough, He’s powerful enough, He’s caring enough, He’s patient enough, He’s loving enough, He’s big enough to train us, prepare us, equip us, build us.

As we get ready to box our way through this epic fight that IS life, as we prepare to run this marathon, as we get ready for battle, we can be confident in our Personal Trainer who is standing right there in our corner with us. He’ll be there to sound any alarms necessary. He’ll be there to shout encouraging words of truth our way. He’ll be there to challenge us when we start looking for shortcuts and “letting ourselves go.” He’ll be there to call a time-out when we need one. He’ll be there to shove that mouthguard back in our mouths when we need to just shut up and fight. He’ll be there to pull us back on our feet when we’ve been knocked down. And He will most certainly be there to celebrate with us when we are victorious in the end.

This God we serve doesn’t just drop us in this world and expect us to figure “life” out. He doesn’t abandon us and then decide to judge us harshly for what we cannot do or don’t know how to do. He patiently, thoroughly, lovingly trains us for life and prepares us for battle.

Don’t miss that last part, y’all. Life is a battle. We are living in severe wartimes, but so often we don’t realize it. So often, we let busyness and societal norms fill our minds with temporary things – things we are taught, from a young age to value: success, title, career, money, status, popularity, etc.

Friends, we can’t miss this. Every day is a battle against sin and temptation. Every day is a battle against evil. Every day is war against the powers of this world. We need to keep that in mind always. Satan would love for us to forget that we are living in wartimes. Satan would love it if we forgot to gear up with the Armor of God as we head into battle each day. Who forgets their armor when they prepare for war? Only fools!

Beloved, we may have been fools before, but we cannot be fools any longer. The Lord our God has prepared us, equipped us, and trained us for war. We must be aware of the reality of life: it is a day-to-day battle against worldly powers. We must then rest boldly and confidently in the training we’ve received from the Creator Himself: nothing can withstand the power of our God!

Gear up. Prepare for battle. Be courageous. Be encouraged. Because the Lord, your Rock, who trains your hands for war and your fingers for battle is with you always. He’s in your corner.

The best part? You’ve already won with Him.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 

Ephesians 6:12-13

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