This week's memory verse:
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
Running - I have friends who run. They do it every day no matter the weather. They monitor their heart rates and keep track of how their bodies respond to each run. They know their bodies well, and know what they are capable of.
I admire these people...but I have trouble relating to them. Running has never been something I am good at or enjoy doing. I WISH I could enjoy it...I WISH I could "hit the pavement" and get my body in shape by using my legs to carry me across miles of roads or paths or tracks...But for me, running laps in gym class was my LEAST favorite thing. I don't think it's because I am lazy...or maybe it is. I just don't know how to push my body that hard...I think a long time ago, I gave up on running too easily. It was hard, and I didn't want to try that hard and therefore today, I can't imagine running every day like my friends do.
When the Bible, mainly books written by Paul in the new testament, talks about "running the race" I sometimes don't get it...OR...perhaps I get it and worry that I don't have it in me to run the race...I give up too easily.
Perhaps it is good that I know that about myself...that I worry about giving up too easily, and ask God to specifically help me with that.
Galatians 6:9 says Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
"Running the race" doesn't have to be about a physical race...but rather it's about life. Let me not grow tired of going good...doing the things God wants me to do...loving others, treating others with respect, being kind and serving others...those are the things I shouldn't give up on, because if I don't give up, God will reward me...he will use my efforts to make good things happen!
I think I can follow the lead of my runner friends and know my body well...know my heart well...know what my limitations are and push myself to do more than I am comfortable with every now and then.
Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us that to "win the race" we need to know about and study the stories of those believers who have gone before us. They relied on God and made it through whatever trials they were going through by obeying God's commands. We can too. We are also to throw off anything that hinders us...the things that weigh us down, pull us into bad habits and sins we don't want to do...we need to get rid of them. By doing that, we are more able to keep on the right path and not give up.
I may not like running...but walking I enjoy. Perhaps that is my clue...perhaps for me, slow and steady FINISHES the race. I cannot give up when people pass me up...I just need to stay on the right path, do the right things and walk it out. When my foot slips off the path and I stumble and fall...I need to reach out to God, ask him to help me get up and get back on the path. Hoping in the Lord will renew my strength. I will not grow weary and faint. As long as finish the race....