Some days I don't want to run. Especially when nights stretch long as I comfort a son dealing with tummy troubles, and check the other's BG levels every couple of hours through the night. Still, I recognize the need push through the cobwebs clinging to body and soul, and run the race set before me. I shake off slumber and press through exhaustion on a wing and a prayer. "God help me," I breathe, pushing forward.
Shoes laced, music playing, I step out into the concrete jungle, making my way to the green space behind our neighborhood. Pinks blaze across a pale blue sky, and C25K compells me: "Begin your warm up now."
As with life, one step is all it takes to make a new beginning. My prayer is that God would order each step, for he sees beyond the borders, past all boundaries, above and beyond everything that clouds my vision. I long to know the Truth for the One who IS truth sets me free. Faith requires determination and trust, yet the Lover of My Soul honors even my baby steps.
A voice breaks into my reverie. "Begin Running." I strain forward, work to find the breath to run. My knees hurt, and sleepiness pursues. I press on, prayerfully. "God, give me strength." Positive self talk, for what I tell myself determines what I believe. "I can do this. Jesus help me!" As I lean into a strength beyond myself, I am building endurance and trust.
"Begin Walking." Oh, thank you Jesus. This morning I need that walking break. I look to the hills beyond this track and breathe deep, preparing for the next run. And then it's time. Time to push beyond my own weak strength and persevere.
"You are halfway." Oh, if only life had such alerts! Yet, even now I am encouraged by the words of a prayer warrior and friend, knowing God has brought us out of the darkness into His glorious light. We have passed through the place of deadness and carnage and are moving towards greater wellness. God is good. All the time. Even when I can't see it. When life is painful and my needs are not met, when my dreams and wants are crushed beneath diagnoses and trauma, God is still good. Grieving is not only acceptable, but needed, and in time, restoration always comes. In my own life I've known intimately God's work of giving Beauty for Ashes.
The comforter provides for all those who grieve, the greatest Gift of all: more Presence. The Eternal reaches beyond temporal devastation, granting joy where there was only depression-- as I choose to draw near. So much of life allows little choice- but we are not bound to endless disappointment. Whether life knocks me on my rear, or my face, I still have the power to choose. Will I hold my Restoration at arms length, or allow the Healer to move into the deepest places of my heart and soul, so that I may be set free?
The world offers a temporary freedom that only binds me to brokenness, but the Lover of My soul sets boundaries for my own protection, my own health and well being. Sometimes trust seems a risky choice, but Jesus never fails me. Amazing sacrifice, so we no longer have to stumble forward.
He is THE GIFT. It's time to run again-to run to Jesus. To press in, go deep. The way to get up the steepest inclines is determination grounded in prayer. Commitment is the real test of our mettle, but the reward is beyond imaginable. A heart made whole, and more, because I've nestled into the Heart of God, and now I understand what it is to be held, comforted, Set Free!
The real test for Christ followers is whether we will move past plodding in his footsteps and determine to embrace His presence in our daily lives. No matter what lies the enemy spouts, the truth is, we have the power to choose. Death or life. Temporary appeasement, or lasting wellness.
I strain past fatigue, pouring out all brokenness to Jesus. Surrender sets me free. Release clears the clogged heart, allowing my soul to rise. As I push myself to pursue
wellness, one foot in front of the other, up the hill, over its crest-
the view is always worth the work.
"Let us run with perseverance"
this race we know as Life, reaching forward, pressing deeper into
Jesus-for there is only One Name that rescues, One Presence that sustains, One
touch that brings healing and wholeness in the inmost places.