Strength in Jesus = Strength on the Mat

by Ashley Marshall

Stepping onto the mat, closing my eyes, breathing in the peace of the Lord. Beginning to prepare my body, mind, heart, and soul for what the Lord has for me during this time. Saying a quick prayer, I begin to open my eyes and move through a flow with expectations of lightness, satisfaction, and strength. Instead, what I am hit with is defeat and feelings of frustration rising to the surface. This is not right.

“Yoga is meant for empowerment of the body. Yoga is meant for showcasing the inner strength we all have. Right?”

photo of women stretching together
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These irritating questions run through my mind, heightening my sense of dissatisfaction. Then, a quiet whisper says, “NOT IN YOUR STRENGTH, BUT MINE.” And my mind is silenced.

Psalm 73:26: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (ESV) So many times, we push through life going from one thing to the next without stopping and thinking we can do it all. We are tough. We are resilient. The honest truth is: we cannot and we are not. Our strength is finite, it gives out. Our bodies cannot do it all even though we try to push it to the extreme. By nature, we are weak creatures. Rest is a vital part of life. We need rest, but, most importantly, we need our infinite, loving Creator who created us to fully need and fully depend on Him.

Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (ESV) Paul was a disciple of Christ. He walked and talked with Him. He had a close and intimate relationship with Him. Even though Paul was a devoted follower of Christ, he was still weak. He was given a “thorn in his flesh” to remind him just how truly weak he was. When Paul begged to have it removed, Christ met him with a perfect response: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (ESV) HIS POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN OUR WEAKNESS! 

photo of woman standing with one leg
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We all experience limitations throughout our lives, just like Paul. Like Paul, we need to feel the joy and peace that comes from those limitations and see them as perfect gifts from above. When we overcome the pride deep in our hearts of needing to do it all in our own strength and seeing our lack of strength as a failure, we can start to experience it as an opportunity for Jesus to move in our lives. Once we see the good in our weakness, then our Heavenly Father will cover us with His abounding grace and envelop us in His perfect strength.

So, the next time we fall flat on our face on our mat while attempting the ever-elusive inversion, remember the weaker we are, the stronger we become through Him; the One who sees us, knows us, and loves wholly.

Ashley Marshall lives in Texas, has two children. She is a teacher and yoga instructor. Visit her blog

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