My best friend ran a marathon today. 26.2 faith stretching miles. A feat that feels out of reach for most humans but is an easy accomplishment for our God. A journey with Him that parallels our spiritual walk through this life in so many ways. My heart has been fatigued and sinking a lot this year and she’s met me at each of my grief filled “miles” with support and nourishment. Sometimes there was nothing she could do except just be beside me as I ran this difficult race in often “crappy” conditions.
It filled my heart with such joy to see God deliver her to victory. To see her faithful pursuit of hard and holy work according to His call. It reminded me of my own love affair with the metaphor that the marathon will always be for me. In 2010, I ran my first marathon as I was just starting my friendship with Michelle. I thank God for delivering her to my life and to that glorious finish line.
I believe the marathon was a pretty important primer and prep for significant adversity I would face in my life. I believe I learned lessons on that course that have made it possible for me to stay the course on the hard path prepared for me. Some of those lessons I captured right after the race long before I had a blog. I called them Reflections on 26.2 but they were all about the awesomeness of my God.
Reflections on 26.2 October 12, 2010
Why would anyone want to run 26.2 miles? What on earth would possess you to do that? In January of 2008 we learned that Jackson was missing a tiny piece of a chromosome. . . Something called PWS. . . Something scary. . . Something that seemed impossible. . . Something that would change our lives forever.
Can I do what I will ask him to do? Persevere through great difficulty . . . Deny myself that which I crave. . . Continue to push through great discomfort that feels like too much. . . Accomplish something amazing beyond my natural abilities. . . Trust My Heavenly Father to see me through. . . Who Am I? Where does my power come from? Am I powerful even though I feel I’m never enough? How will my story end? Will fear and endless toil find relief?
All questions that must be answered and they could only be answered through a partnership between God and myself. So that’s what we did. I grabbed a training schedule and an expensive pair of shoes and gave Him my time and attention. And He grabbed my soul and wrestled until deep pockets of fear and self doubt were replaced with faith and security.
This was a grueling class and the final exam came at 4 am on marathon morning when I awakened and proceeded to puke my guts into a trash can for the next two hours. The final exam had only one question on it: through a trash can of puke God asked me, “do you trust me?” My hearts reply was I trust you God. If today is not the day for me to accomplish this task it is because you are protecting me from something I wil never have to go through. Or because I am not spiritually mature enough to let go of myself and give you the full glory for what you are wishing to do. Either way I trust you and I have loved my time with you on every run during every prayer.
God desires to do seemingly impossible things with our lives if we will let Him. He will turn devastation into victory and overcome unsurmountable obstacles for our joy. He will quiet your stomach and your very soul to take you on a spiritual adventure like no other. You see God is preparing me for the calling on my life in every experience He brings into my life just like a training schedule prepares you for a marathon.
We will breeze along through much of it- – not even aware of how much I need Him–much like the first 13.1 miles of yesterday’s race. And then there will be times of pain and darkness where I will beg for the energy just to make it through fully doubting that I can. But He will never forget me. . . He will always show up. . . He may ask me to relax and stretch like He did at Mile 18 or He may ask me to dig deeper and lean into HIM like He did at Mile 25 when He gave me the desire to finish stronger than I started.
And most importantly after we take this unbelievable journey of faith and tears and trials and sufferings and victories in Him. . . We will be Surrounded by His supernatural love and peace . . . Fully relieved of the strain of this life and United by Power and Mercy beyond our imagination. He gave me so many gifts along the way but this hopeful vision of my true future of resting in HIM will prove the most valuable to me . . . And so ” I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ is calling us” phillipians 3:14 and I strive to lead a life that is worthy of the calling I have received Ephesians 4:1 To God Be the Glory Great Things He Has done!