Have you ever been through an intense workout, and then had to stretch your sore muscles afterwards? Often times, the stretching part hurts worse than the actual workout. Why is that? Because your muscles are growing and your body is preparing to do things it’s never done before. Similarly, when you go through a period of stretching in your life, it’s because God is preparing you for new things and growing you. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for you to live a normal life; He wants you to live a God-sized life with a God-sized portion! But with that comes the inevitable stretching.

Isaiah 54:3-4 NIV says,
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.” Isaiah 54:3-4 NIV

This life is but a tent, and it pales in comparison to the glory the Lord has for you. Be careful not to decorate too much, because it’s only temporary. But while you’re living here, the Lord wants to enlarge your tents and make way for all that He has here on earth for you. To enlarge your tent, you have to clear the territory and cut out the things that are blocking the way. You have to unpack the suitcases filled with where you’re at, and pack for where you’re going. If you were going on a trip somewhere with a different climate, you wouldn’t pack for the climate you live in; you would pack for the climate you’re going to. Start preparing for where you’re going! Lengthen your cords by working with and adding to what you already have. Don’t throw away what you have. God isn’t going to give you everything that you think you need to accomplish what you need to accomplish. He’s going to work with what you have. Moses was given a staff to split seas with, and David was given a stone to kill a giant with. God will take whatever you have and add Himself to increase the growth in your life. Strengthen your stakes, or in other words, your strengths. The stakes are the strength of the tent that holds it into place. God has given every person unique gifts and talents that He wants you to use to honor Him. Ask yourself what strengths you have and start strengthening them. God wants to use you in a God-sized way, but you have to make room for Him to work in your lives! Once you step into your God- given destiny, you will forget your history. The best days are ahead of you. You will not be embarrassed or humiliated, so don’t be afraid to step out. But don’t forget that stretching goes hand in hand with strengthening, and don’t confuse the stretching with the actual race. God allows you to come to a point of pain for a moment so you can complete the race set before you. The stretching is like the athlete on the sidelines, preparing for the race. You wouldn’t compete in the Olympics without going through the rigorous practice and preparation needed to excel in it. So from now on, start praising when you go through pain, because it’s all part of the plan to help prepare you for the great things God has in store for you!