Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Race

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish THE RACE and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."
Acts 20:24

I ran my FIRST RACE today! It was only a 5k. Not a big deal for most people (you marathon runners are going to laugh about this post) but, for me, it was a huge deal.
I signed up about a month ago and thought I would start running and training but then our kids all stayed sick and it just didn't happen. I almost chickened out last night. It was going to be 32 degrees. I was going all by myself. My warm bed was seeming much more inviting than the race.
But, I did it. I got up. Got my tennis shoes, hat, gloves, and headphones and went.
Race day is SO fun! Everybody is full of energy! Ready to go!
So, I got in the back of the group. And off I went... running my first race. I have been a runner since college. I actually used to run a lot in college. One time, I did something really stupid and put ankle weights on and ran a long way. That was EXTRA dumb. I wrecked one of my knees. Since then, my knee will flare up at times when I run. I made a dumb decision and injured myself.
So, I was running and listening to my music. Everything was going great. It was me in a big group of runners. Some going fast, some going slow but we were all headed toward the same goal. The race was marked by cones.  There were people watching. Everything was suddenly reminding me A LOT of my spiritual race.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Heb 12:1
 I had a good pace going. I was doing ok when we got to the half way point.  There were people holding out water with big smiles cheering for us. Wow... immediately I thought, "I want to be ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE in the spiritual race!". Giving water to the thirsty, cheering them on, refreshing them, giving a sustaining word to the weary, or just simply being a smiling/ happy face! I prayed, "that is so cool, Lord, I want to be on YOUR refreshment team! Help me to be THAT person to other believers".
"I will refresh the weary" Jer 31:25
"The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary." Is 50:4
"those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." Prov 11:25

I kept running. I was passing people. People were passing me. I was getting tired. I thought, "ughhhhh, how much longer? If I could just SEE the finish line I think I can make it but I can't see it.
I've just gotta keep going."
The verse that started playing like a broken record was this..
"they will run and not grow weary, they will run and not grow weary, they will run and not grow weary". 
So, I kept going. Then my knee started to hurt. And when it starts to hurt, it gets worse and worse and worse if I don't stop and walk. But, I was determined. I kept going. I saw the people in front rounding a corner. We were getting close to the finish line. I kept going.  I started getting hot. I took my gloves off. I wanted to take my hat off. I was ready to throw off everything that was hindering me and making me hot.
And then, I saw it. THE FINISH LINE. There were people cheering. I had made it!! They said our name when we crossed the finish line. I thought that was super cool because I have always wondered if  "the shout" will be OUR NAME!
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God." 1 Thess 4:16
I didn't care about anything at that point. I didn't care about prizes, or drinks, or anything. I was just so thankful to be there.
Thankful it was over.
Thankful I didn't have to run anymore.
I had done it! My first race!! God helped me. I did it without walking!
This race meant a lot more to me than you think.
 Most of you know that I was sick for YEARS. After the years kept going by, I packed up all my workout clothes. I put them in storage. I just didn't know if God was going to give me my health back again. I was sick for so long. It seemed like an eternity. I was the girl everyone felt sorry for everywhere we went. I was the chronic prayer request person. It seemed very hopeless. BUT GOD! But God, heard my prayers and the prayers of my family and friends (some of YOU!!! Jill and Celeste specifically).
He delivered me.
He can deliver you.
Keep asking for the impossible. Never give up in prayer.
"One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and
 NEVER GIVE UP."
Luke 18:1
So, be encouraged in your race!
You can do it!!!
Get some water!!
"washing with WATER through the WORD,"
Eph 5
Keep your eyes on the prize! Even if you can't see the finish line. It is coming!! Don't slow down.
If your past wounds and injuries (from dumb decisions) flare up, pray through it. Ask for healing and strength.
Some stretches are LONG. Keep going. God will send people with refreshments. :)
Be on God's refreshment committee for other runners!
Share the water of the Word with a weary runner today.
Your race is marked out.
(if you aren't a Christian, turn from your sins and get on the right path)
Those who have gone before you are watching and cheering you on.
Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
(Imagine yourself trying to run a race all tangled up in something.)

We are almost finished.
I believe that with all my heart.
RUN YOUR RACE.
Finish well.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Tim 4:7
"Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize?
So run to win!"
1 Cor 9:24

4 comments:

The Drama Mama said...

LOVE this...thank you for sharing!! And congrats on such a great accomplishment!!! xoxoxo

Thankful Becky said...

Amen!

HIS Child said...

I love you girl and I know how much this meant to you. I am cheering, and praying you on as you run the race for our One and Only Lord, Redeemer and Lover of our souls.
May the Lord smile and make His face to shine upon you today.

Until HE shouts,
Love ya much
Celeste

Anonymous said...

I am so excited you ran a race! I couldn't agree more on how much it is like the real race, life. That's why I run, so that I will remember. Congrats to you! I think that's awesome!
and those verses are so rich and so encouraging. I love dwelling on those as I run.
Alyssa