In our house there is a way for kids to run through the living room, dining room, kitchen and den and back again. Since our first granddaughter came on the scene 15 years ago, they all run the “run”. Even though we have now taken out the wall between living room and den, they still have a way to run through and around.
Stella absolutely LOVES to run! She walks in and says “run!” and goes. Often one or both brothers join her and they’re in a race to run together and outrun one another. Because Stella is such a lightweight, especially compared to her brothers, it’s real easy to knock her down when they pass her. She will fall and whine a little and then breathe out, “I’m ok”. She picks herself up and runs some more! Every once in a while she decides to stay down. She may even try dragging herself along with her arms and hands. After a while she gets up and runs again. She never quits running. Every time she comes over, she begins running. Sometimes she hops and skips along with the run, but she’s always moving on.
God speaks to my heart. How we love to run this race of faith. We run headlong and we get to run beside others who want to run the race of faith. Occasionally we get knocked down as folks run ahead of us. Occasionally we trip ourselves up. Either way, we find ourselves flat on our faces, prostrate before God.
The choice is there. Do we whine and kick and try to place the blame for our fall? Do we get mad at ourselves because we let ourselves get knocked down? Do we try to drag ourselves along and refuse to get up and keep going? We can give ourselves sympathy because someone ran on and left us in the dirt. Or we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, let God set us back on the mark and keep running.
Will we keep running simply for the joy of running? Will we let God be our reason to run, the reason to get up again, the reason to keep going and especially the reason to have joy in the run? Will we run the race of faith simply for Him and because of Him?
Aren’t we blessed? We don’t have to run for competition, to beat one another, to receive an earthly trophy or crown or title. We don’t have to lie in the dust and remain motionless for the rest of our days, even if we got knocked down. With God as our Coach, who speaks words of faith into our hearts and minds we can get up and continue this run of faith!
Oh beloved, God knows you were running so well. He knows you got knocked down by life’s circumstances. He knows you just want to lay there and let the pain overtake you. He knows you want to belly ache and grumble because others have run on without you. But beloved, you are really just running your faith path with Jesus! Yes, people come and go from your path, but you aren’t going to focus on them. Yes, you fall, you get hurt, you’re wounded, tripped up and trampled. But you aren’t ruined, you aren’t sidelined, you aren’t done.
Put your hand in your Divine Coach’s hand – the Lord Himself - this morning and watch as He cheers you on to run with Him! He still has a plan for you and if you will let Him He will give you a clear path to run the race and achieve His will in all you do. Because He loves you and He’s for you and that’s why you will never have to lose the race, you just have to keep running!
Philippians 3:13-14 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
1 Peter 5:4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
Hebrews 10:36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.
Colossians 1:11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy.