The secret to standing

This week, at CrossFit, we worked on our squat snatch.  I know.  What’s that?  I’m not quite sure.  I figure “snatch” refers to quickly grabbing an item of interest.  Like snatching one of these coconut milk ice cream cookies off a friend’s plate.

All I know is we had to lift a bar with weighted plates up and over our heads.  (Which resembled nothing of a “snatch” when I executed the move.)  Once overhead, with arms locked, we were instructed to squat that weight.  Overhead squats.

I squat to a wooden 12” box.  So, I after I snatched the bar up and over my head I began descending down into a squat.  That’s about the time I felt the box welcome my weight.  And I decided to sit on my box.  I had been told to touch and go.  It was too tempting to just sit, though.  So, I did.

With my bar over head, there I sat.  And I told my coach I couldn’t get up.  I really couldn’t.  Once I rested my legs, there was no extending them to stand back tall.

My coach didn’t buy my excuse.

Get up!

I protested.  But, my coach was relentless.

You can stand up, Cristal!

Get up.

I objected emphatically, with that bar still lingering over my head.  I really couldn’t convince my legs to push my body up.

Yes, you can!

You’re not using your arms.

They’re not actively engaged.

My arms?

Look, my arms are the only part of me still playing in this game.  What do you think is keeping this weight from falling on my head?

I need some tips for my legs.  Not my arms.

Engage your arms and stand up!

Ugh.  Okay.  Here goes nothing.

I shrugged my shoulders tight, squeezed my shoulder blades and engaged my arms.

With that determined commitment, my legs straightened and my body rose from the box.

It was fascinating.  I tried it again.  Sure enough.  It worked.  Actively engaging my arms assisted my legs.  Woo hoo!

I stood.

acacia tree on the grassland by autan via flickr

The lessons I learn at CrossFit tend to linger after leaving each morning.  God uses them to teach me and train me throughout the day.

In fact, that particular day, I was in the midst of a dilemma when I sensed God asking me to examine my heart.

Are all your parts actively engaged?

Otherwise, you can’t stand.

Our pastor had asked us to focus on the sixth chapter of Ephesians that week.  Specifically, the Armor of God.

God’s Armor.

Protection produced not by my craftiness.  But available to me.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

(Ephesians 6:10-11, emphasis added)

Strength manufactured not by my might.  Power produced by the Lord and accessible to me.

The command to put on the WHOLE armor of God.

Earnestly employing all pieces.

Then God reminds me of the need for undivided devotion.

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38, emphasis added)



Committing all parts of me.

Even my mind.  My will.  And my emotions.

I had become slothful in my devotion.  Neglecting certain areas.

Yet, I desire to rise up from the mess.

Even when the heavy weight lingers over my head and I doubt the strength.

How refreshing to be reminded of the secret to standing.

Remain actively engaged.

So we can stand.


10 thoughts on “The secret to standing”

    1. Larry, I literally get the biggest grin every single time I read one of your responses. It’s not that they’re comical; but your sense of humor shows itself in every piece of encouragement you offer. And I love it! Thank you!!

  1. Dear Cristal,

    I just received a prayer request from a missionary friend who is having a land dispute in Belize with some of the native people there. Of course, being an American, the police are not being very helpful in the matter. Anyway, she said she felt like leaving and going somewhere else to live, but she felt the Lord tell her to STAND. She sent an e-mail out asking her prayer warriors to stand with her. Immediately after getting her prayer request I received you blog post on “standing” and a message from the Billy Graham Association with the words STAND with Billy Graham. I sent both web address to my missionary friend and told her I felt these seemed like confirmation of her intention to stand. Thanks for being faithful in blogging God’s truth.


    1. Oh, Dawn. I cannot tell you how much your comment means to me. I wasn’t sure I was supposed to post that message. I wavered and hesitated for a few days. Thank you for the encouragement! And, I am going to be praying for your friend — that she will STAND on the Word and in GOD’s strength. Keep us updated please!

      Blessings to you,

  2. Cristal,
    You have an incredible gift for taking the mundane events of everyday life and finding amazing spiritual truth in them. Thanks again for giving me something encouraging and profound to think about and act upon

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