Watching high school students run at their cross country meet today made me think of Jesus and my walk with Him. In a sense, Jesus is my Coach, telling me how to use the abilities I have to do my best. Sometimes I am stretched to go distances I never thought I could run before. Other times, I will listen for His cheer as I run the race course. It isn’t easy and I am often exhausted and need to recuperate, just like the cross country teams did after their event today.
I know a number of families who are running their races right now, but have found themselves running a course they weren’t expecting–a difficult course they never thought they were trained to run.
Dear friends are facing difficult days with their mom as she fights brain cancer. Another set of new friends are walking alongside their daughter as she recovers from a car crash with a semi truck. By God’s amazing grace, this young lady survived (her car did not). The family is now walking with their daughter through the course of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Other dear ones face unexpected terminal illnesses like Lupus and Fibromyalgia. These challenges can make one very weary and wonder how they will ever finish their race.
One verse that is often quoted by my friends facing TBI is Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
We are all called to “run the race set before us” (Hebrews 12:1), but nowhere in Scripture do we read that we are going to run the same course as everyone else. And nowhere do we read that the course is going to be easy, smooth, flat, or visible from beginning to end. We are called to trust (Psalm 37:3), believe, and know God is with us (Matthew 28).
For me, it is my desire to be stretched and warmed up, with my shoes on, and ready to go. No matter the path before me, I know my Coach is right there, encouraging me, challenging me, and running along with me as I go.
How about you? On your mark, get set, run!