Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thank you Jesus for Bringing Me Back!

It's been three weeks and two days since I ran the Soaring Wings Half Marathon. After crossing the finish line, I was in extreme pain, struggling to even walk. Within a few hours, even walking was out of the question. I went to Fred's and bought a pair of crutches. For a week, I hobbled around on those.

For the last two weeks, I've been walking without the crutches, chomping at the bit to get out and run. The pain in my knee had subsided, except when I would try to run a few steps just to test things.

There are less than two weeks until the St. Jude Marathon and today I planned to walk five miles and see how I felt. However, when I started I decided to try and run a few steps to see how it felt. Those few steps ended up lasting three miles. My first run since Soaring Wings!

I walked two miles after the run and now there's no pain!
"See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction." -- Isaiah 48:10

This injury was God's way of getting my attention, letting me know that I was drifting away from His will. I've said that many times now, that I was forgetting that I'm supposed to be running for Him, giving Him the glory.

I had been getting a little too prideful, taking too much pleasure in the comments others make when they find out you run marathons. My addiction to running, and to the glory, was getting out of hand.

Five marathons in four months, that's what I had already signed up for. And, I had plans to register for another. Then I was just about ready to pull the trigger on another. That would have made seven in five months if I'd gone through with it.

Problem is, God gave me a clear directive when I began running marathons. Two per year! That's what He said. I knew it. I didn't forget it. But as people became impressed with my accomplishments, I let myself forget that I wasn't the One who deserved the credit.

Oh, I paid lip service, saying I was doing it all for Him, but the truth was that I was basking in the attention and liking it. That's why, without any clear event to cause it, my knee was suddenly injured.

God's way of bringing me back, reminding me why He allows me to do this. Not for me, but for He!
"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." -- 2 Corinthians 12:9

Even though the knee didn't hurt, I could feel it, like a little nagging feeling right where it used to hurt so bad.

I have to believe this is a reminder, a reminder of why I'm supposed to be running in the first place, a reminder that the ability to run comes only from the grace of God, not from anything or any ability of mine.

That's what I was starting to forget before, when I was signing up for so many races, looking for praise and glory directed at me. That nagging little ache is there to keep me focused, focused on God's plan, not my plan. Focused on bringing Him the glory, not bringing me the glory. Focused on bringing others to Him.

This knee is my weakness, and it's only by His grace that I can continue to run. And I'm thankful He saw fit to remind me that I can't run marathons, not even one on my own, so that I can and will once again lean on Christ's power, and let His light shine through me.



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