Your Heavenly Father wants to bring you freedom, and He promises to be in the race with you. So put your shoes on, get moving—and just keep going!
"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." 2 Corinthians 10:4 (NIV)
It’s not unusual for my son, Ryan, to call me on a Saturday morning and say something like, "Hey mom, I just ran 13 miles! What are you doing?"
"Well, I just ate breakfast. I plan to brush my teeth in a few minutes. Oh yeah, I brushed my hair."
But 13 miles? Umm, no.
Then my husband started running. He’d come through the door, soaked in sweat, breathing as if there weren’t enough air in the room. Before long he was running a couple of miles. Then he started running 5Ks and eventually half-marathons. One morning, I walked outside in my running shoes and coordinated running outfit.
If they could do it, then so could I.
I took off, feet pounding the pavement. It felt great at first, but not too much later my chest constricted. My legs felt like they weighed 1,000 pounds. I started marking out goals.
If I can make it to the next mailbox.
If I can make it to the stop sign.
Finally, I sat on the curb in an attempt to catch my breath. I had barely run a mile.
I walked home and put my running shoes in the closet. This running thing was for someone else. Not me.
Later, I learned the first mile is often the hardest, even for accomplished runners. You are finding your stride. Your lungs and heart and legs are moving into new territory from sedentary to active.
I gave up too soon. I was too hard on myself.
In today’s key verse, the apostle Paul finds himself in a unique situation. He wrote powerful letters to the church, but when he arrived in person the people weren’t that impressed. Some said he was too timid (2 Corinthians 10:1). Others believed his speaking wasn’t that great (2 Corinthians 10:10).
Paul could have turned around and given up.
But he didn’t. It wasn’t about how great a speaker he was or how inspiring he might be in person. He had been given authority in Jesus’ name to overcome whatever had a stronghold on his life.
All that was required of him was to keep running. The results would come through the power of Christ.
Years ago, I started the process of healing emotionally. I was a mess inside. That first "mile" in the healing process was hard.
I was breaking old patterns of behavior. I was pushing through feelings. I was learning who I was separate from the past. There were many times that I was unimpressive. If I had based success on my performance alone, I might have given up.
I’m glad I didn’t because God was demolishing things that had controlled me with every step I took.
There was no speed limit. If I stopped to take a breather, He gave me rest in those places. If I didn’t have all the answers, He showed me the next step. All that was required of me was to keep going. His divine power was working in me every step of the way.
Maybe you’ve started the healing process and it seems hard. Or perhaps you tried it once and it didn’t work, so you gave up.
Put your shoes back on, sister. Your Heavenly Father wants to bring you freedom too, and He promises to be in the race with you.
Recently I started running again. I might never run 13 miles before breakfast, but I’m celebrating the fact that the shoes are on my feet and I’m moving forward, wherever that takes me.
Heavenly Father, I’m putting my shoes on. I’ll celebrate every step forward and run toward the finish line with my arms in the air praising You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 12:9a, "But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’" (NIV)
If you’re looking to move forward and find healing for your deepest hurts Suzie Eller’s book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places, might be helpful for you.
You don’t have to run this race alone! Join our next Online Bible Study of The Mended Heart by Suzie Eller, launching June 22. Click here for more information.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
There are three rules every runner should know: 1) Run at your own pace. 2) Watch your step. 3) Just run.
1) When healing emotionally or spiritually, let God do His work fully, even if it takes more time than you want.
2) If things trip you up in the healing process, be honest with yourself and stay away from them.
3) It’s not about winning. It’s about growing. Just keep going.