A few weeks ago, I was standing in my garage, looking out at the beauty of God’s creation (the wind, birds, flowers, green grass), and I decided – I want to run. If you know me at all, you know how ridiculous this thought is for me. My entire life, I have loathed running with a deep burning hatred. I assumed that the random thought to run was just that, a random thought, and it would soon pass, but it never did – in fact, it only got stronger. Instead of burning hatred for running, I quickly developed a burning desire to run.
So, I started running.
I started running and something amazing happened. I began to trust God more and myself. Some people may think this is silly or crazy, but in the last few weeks, I have heard God speaking to me more than ever before. It’s a wonderful feeling to be running down the road, wind in my hair, sun on a face, and freedom in my hands.
Running feels like freedom. I’ve spent so much of my life running from the truth and now I feel like I’m running, literally, to the most beautiful truth there is.
1 Timothy 4:8 – For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
It’s an amazing feeling to challenge myself. For so long, I have been my own worst enemy and discouraged myself from doing ANYTHING that might be difficult or that had the possibility of me failing. And let me tell you, feeling like I can never do anything gets tired and discouraging after a while. As an all or nothing kind of person, I justified not trying many things because what was the point if I would only fail, if my “all” wasn’t enough? The sad part is though, that you never know what you’re capable of until you try.
That’s how I feel about running – I didn’t know I was capable of running, until I tried.
I am sure that this, seemingly out of the blue, desire to run came from God. It’s too bizarre for me to be something I came up with on my own. (Although, I also think some of the blame also falls on a sweet friend of mine who has somehow implanted her love of running/working out in my head.) It’s funny how, when I tried to ignore what I thought was just a weird, random though, God kept persisting and telling me to go for it; to at the very least, try!
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 – All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
God has this funny was of changing our hearts sometimes – using things that we think will NEVER have an effect on us.
A few days ago during a run, I felt a strength in me that I had never felt before – a supernatural determination. It was in that exact moment that I realized something that God has been trying to show me for over a year – I can do ANYTHING with His help. If I trust Him, I can push through the pain. I can stay strong through the struggle. I can succeed through the doubts. I can trust Him through my brokenness.
Isaiah 40:29-31 – He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
Seems kind of odd how God would show me so much about Himself through running, but I am eternally grateful for it. Not only has He changed my heart to love Him and trust Him more, but for the first time in my Christian walk, I finally understand what other people mean when they talk about joy. I finally understand that joy that overflows and loves others. That joy that runs so deep, that even in the midst of pain and sadness I still have a solid foundation to rest on.
I know that my life will always have its ups and downs. I know that things in this broken and fallen world will not be easy. But what I also know is that even in the ups and down, even in the pain of the brokenness – I have a joy and a hope that no one can EVER take from me.