It had been over 18 months since I had fallen from my horse and damaged my rotator cuff. I’d had surgery and gone to therapy. But before I could ride my horse again, I knew I needed to regain strength in my legs and arms. The gym was my answer, so I signed up for one-on-one fitness instruction.

One morning, I was talking to Jesus about my personal training sessions. They had been fun! As I often do, I began writing down my thoughts as I thanked Him. I was especially grateful for the opportunity I’d had to slow down and spend more time with Him. Being able to study the scriptures freely without being pressured by other responsibilities had made our increased time together sweeter than ever.

As I reflected, God spoke to me about our time together and showed me it was like my one-on-one sessions with the trainer in the gym. He said, “Our gym is one-on-one fitness for your soul. It builds muscles of faith, which enable you to have a greater trust deep within your heart. And that trust causes your endurance to increase so that what used to be difficult, becomes easier.”
My choice to go to the gym is like my choice to spend time with my heavenly Father. In our time together, God’s Word stretches and challenges me as much as it encourages me. As a result, my faith muscles expand and grow stronger.

For so long, I did not know that I could have such a wonderful, intimate relationship with the Creator of this universe. Why would He want to stop and pay attention to me? What did I have to offer Him?

But then I started journaling my praises to God and, suddenly, I realized the powerful presence of God was with me. My pen took off, and words poured from my heart. They were alive—they weren’t just ink on a page!

The more I wrote those words of thankfulness and penned God’s promises, making each one personal, the more my faith muscles expanded. And when I arose, I was ready to face whatever would come my way.

That experience changed how I thought about my heavenly Father. I truly knew He is good and kind and loving—beyond anything I had ever imagined before. I felt His pleasure in my soul as I expressed my adoration of Him. As I wrote down my concerns, needs, and hurts, it was just like He was right there with me! Of course, He was and is.

God promises that I am never alone. He is with me and within me. He sees me, hears me, leads me, and provides all I need (Psalm 23). Psalm 139:7–10 declares that I can never escape His presence. His goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6).

I have written all these promises down, and each one has increased my faith and enabled me to face the difficulties in life. What a fantastic journey it has been—spending one-on-one time with God and journaling my thoughts and His responses.

I love to read through my past journals. They contain so much evidence of God’s faithful love and perfect timing, so many prayers answered, wounds healed, and needs met. They are proof that He loves and cares for me.

If you aren’t doing so already, why don’t you start your own one-on-one sessions with the Lord? They’re free! And He is always available. Grab a Bible, paper, and pen. Find a private place and set a time to meet with the Lord. You’ll never regret the time you devote to those sessions. And it won’t be long before your faith muscles are growing for all to see.
See page 33 to start your free session today!

Linda Cubbedge-Smith was Victorious Living’s Prison Correspondence Outreach Director from 2014 until June of 2021. She is currently working on a book about the goodness of God and remains passionate about leading others to Him.