Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Running the race

The other day I was on my way home from a meeting.  It was about 4:00 in the afternoon so the kids were getting out of school.  I noticed 2 teenage girls who were running on the median between the 2 streets.  They were obviously training for a track competition. 

It reminded me of the days (over 20 years ago) when I ran track in school.  I was not an athlete at all, but I could run long distance.  I enjoyed it & as I watched those girls run I remembered how hard it was when we would run off campus.    I remember falling a few times when our coach would drop us off miles from our school & we would have to run through fields, dirt roads & finally sidewalks to get back to the school.  It was hard to run where the ground was not level.  If you stepped on a rock just right you could hurt yourself...and I did a few times.


I was reminded of a great verse in Acts through all of this thinking about running.

I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24(NIV)

This is the Apostle Paul speaking & he is on his way to Jerusalem.  He knew that trouble was probably awaiting him, but he knew that he had to go.  His physical body meant nothing to him, he was that committed to preaching the gospel.  All he wanted to do was finish the race that the Lord has set out for him to run.  The ground got real rocky for him, it was never an easy race for him to run.  But he understood what his purpose was, to testify to the gospel of God's grace.

How do you run your race?  Do you want to quit running when the race gets difficult?  Do you wish you could run on a smoother surface?  Oh sweet mom, we all do.  I find myself asking God, "when will this get easier?"  He gently reminds me to just keep running, to keep my goal in mind and to trust him with the obstacles.  It is all to His glory that I run and when I run to complete the task that my Lord has given me I can run with joy and satisfaction.


The Physical Race is how we go about in our day.  How we respond to others.  how we accomplish the mundane chores and errands.  Do our children know what is important to us?  Does our husband know that he is the most important person to us?  How do you manage your day?

The Emotional Race is where we let our feeling and mind go.  Do we guard our heart like Proverbs instructs us to do? What do we watch, read & listen to?  It all matters.


The Spiritual Race is our relationship with our God.  Do you have one?  This is the most important race of all. We will not take our bodies to Heaven, but our souls will go.  How much time to you spend nourishing your soul?  How much time do you spend talking to your Lord?  He deeply desires to speak to you & loves to hear you talk to him.  do you meditate on his word, do you memorize it?  The older I get the harder it is for me to memorize scripture, but I still work on it.  It is such a blessing when I can remember a scripture passage that speaks directly to my need at the time.

You know when Paul went to Jerusalem, he was arrested.  The Holy Spirit prepared him that prison & hardships were waiting for him, but he went anyway.  I don't have the faith of Paul, but I am working toward that. 

We live in very easy times in that we do not face the persecution that Paul faced or that Christians in other parts of the world face like in Orissa, India.  Yes, we struggle.  Our economy is failing, we are looking at the possibility of a new President that is not a godly man and I could go on.  Must understand what our God given purpose glorify Him by teaching his gospel to our children and others. 

Run the race with perseverance the race marked out for you (Hebrews 12:1) and let God cover the obstacles with his grace & mercy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

You will be strengthened

My youngest has been sick with a cough & cold for several days now.  He is now waking up in the night because of drainage that is putting him into a coughing fit.  He sometimes begins to cough to the point that he throws up.  He will wake up around 2:30 & not go back to sleep until 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. By the time I get him back to bed I lay down hoping for a few hours of sleep before he wakes up again.

Needless to say, I am tired.  I struggle with not having a short temper with my other kids.  It isn't their fault that I am so tired.  My early morning quiet time has disappeared because Sam keeps waking up before I can get up. 

Today, I was really feeling the affects of not getting enough sleep.  I found myself in the laundry room ready to completely burst out in tears this morning.  My children were not getting their school work done without a fight.  I had so much to do today & I didn't have the energy to do any of it.  As I loaded the washer with more clothes & cried out to God.

I can't do this.  Sam is keeping me up at night, I can't get up early enough to spend time in prayer or devotions, I don't want anyone around me, I just want to sleep.  I'm not only physically exhausted, but spiritually dehydrated.  I want so badly to have some time for myself to read your word & pray, but I just can't get it.  Your word says that you will strengthen those whose hope is in you.  You say you will uphold me with your righteous right hand.  I need to feel your strength right now.  I need you to hold me above my physical exhaustion.  You are my God & I love you.

I finished loading my laundry and began preparing lunch.  An argument broke out between 2 of my boys & I very calmly sent them to their separate corners. My sick little one came in & wanted to be held, so we rocked for a bit.  My little girl came in & insisted that I let her play with bubbles.  With a little compromise I let her blow her bubbles on our front porch with the front door open.  She & I sat outside while she blew her bubbles.  I walked back in & realized my exhausted feeling was gone.  I no longer felt as though I would explode with emotion at the next person who confronted me.  I felt an amazing peace & calm that I had not had 30 minutes earlier.


Lord God, my Holy Father, thank you for your mercy & gift of strength for today.

I don't know if my little Sam will sleep all night tonight.  I hope he does.  But if he doesn't, I know that my strength will come from my God & he will uphold me with his righteous right hand, because my hope & love is in Him.


Isaiah 40:10

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


-09-04-2000, A1  Bill Bryner and his granddaughter, Makenzie, hold hands as they walk to see some turkeys Thursday. Bryner drops his two older granddaughters off at school twice a week to help out his son, Greg, and daughter-in-law, Wendy.  (PC)-

-Bill Bryner and his 3-year-old granddaughter, Makenzie, holds hands as they walk to see some turkeys Thursday August 25, 2000. Bryner drops his two older granddaughters off at school twice a week to help out his son, Greg, and dughter-in-law, Wendy.