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  • Writer's pictureLisa Jarvis

Fit For The Mission

It‘s already a new year? A lot has happened in 2021. A lot of good has happened along many hardships and challenges, but we are here! So many people have faced loss and sickness. In my corner of the world, in western Kentucky, many people lost their homes and loved ones in a devastating tornado. The covid pandemic is still taking its toll. Prices are skyrocketing and basic necessities of life are unaffordable for many families. Don’t worry, this article isn’t gloom and bad news, though. I am saying these things to remind us, as believers, that now, more than ever, we have a mission! You don’t have to look far to see needs that are begging to be met. There are people who need help. People need care and comfort. When the historic tornado hit the areas surrounding my hometown in December, people were left literally homeless in a matter of seconds with their belongings scattered and destroyed. Entire neighborhoods, communities and even towns were wiped out. People’s homes and businesses were reduced to a pile of rubble. I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the devastation. Then I saw what still blows my mind, but more importantly, renews my faith in the goodness of people. I saw, and continue to see, people from all over, seemingly out of nowhere, showing up. They showed up with chainsaws to remove trees and limbs. They showed up with trucks to haul things away. They showed up with food, clothing, water, and endless needed supplies. People who didn’t even know one person affected by this awful storm, showed up! They heard of the needs and they were ready and willing to help however they could! They were ready and they were willing. This has been inspiring to see how there is so much good in people we don’t hear much about these days. God has His people who are ready and willing to roll up their sleeves, and enter into the hurt and the brokenness, in some cases, for people they don’t even know. Seeing all this has reminded me of my WHY behind the fitness ministry I run at my church. It is all about being fit for the mission God has for us as His children. He has commissioned us to be the salt and the light in a dark and broken world. He has called us to reach our hands out to the poor and needy. He has called us to be His hands and feet on this earth. We are called to be His ambassadors in all things. In the quiet, unnoticed times at home caring for our families. In the moments a friend just needs us to listen. In the times it requires lifting and loading and hours on our feet. He calls us to give, to feed, to serve and to sacrifice for others. This can look different in a million ways, but it comes down to this question. Are we ready and are we willing?

As horrendous and this tragedy of the storms have been, it awakened a spirit of that readiness and willingness in ordinary people who were there, for such a time as this. This has reignited the fire in me as to why God has called me to help others get fit physically as well as spiritually! Friends, in order to be able to serve our families and our communities, do our jobs as unto the Lord, and to jump in and serve when needed, we have to be fit for the mission! I do not know what lies ahead in 2022, but I know this; if you are a believer and you have breath in your lungs, then you have a mission! This mission can change and morph from day to day, year to year, and season to season of our life, but the foundation of it remains the same. That foundation is to that we are commissioned and called by the God of the universe to represent Him while we are on this earth. We are called to be disciples and make disciples! Pretty huge calling! This commission is done with words and in deeds. It requires a surrender of our own way and our own wants. It requires a selfless readiness and willingness. It requires His work in us, equipping us for the tasks! But, we have our part! The Word says that we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God; a workman who is not ashamed. Being fit for the mission, for me, means time in the Word most importantly. Time spent with the Lord, hearing His call to action. Hearing His direction and leading. Calling me to imitate Him in all things. Being fit for the mission also means taking care of my earthly body He has given me so I am not just willing, but I am able, with His help to complete the tasks He has called me to. Kingdom work is still work! It can require physical strength and stamina. This means it is vital to spending time daily getting exercise, both cardio for our heart and lungs, but it is important to get strength training with weights or resistance at least two to three times per week. It means being careful what we put in our body, choosing the delicious natural foods He has provided for us in healthy moderation. It means saying no to the junk food and sugary foods that do nothing to fuel our body for what it needs to be able to do. It means asking the Lord for help in my health and fitness journey, because my motivation can run thin. It requires self-discipline while also relying on Him for help doing it! Our body is His temple and we are called to be good stewards of it! Being ready, willing and able to be the salt and the light, the hand and the feet of Christ motivates me to go all in! Our children and grandchildren need us! This world needs us to be a vessel that He can use. What’s your mission today? Look around you and you will see it. Ask the Lord to give you His eyes and you will see! Yes, there is sickness and hardship and loss. But there is also goodness and generosity and mercy! It is found in God’s people doing God’s work. So let’s do this in 2022! Let’s be fit for the mission!

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