Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I ran again.... in the rain.

Hello faithful Blog readers!  I'm so glad you decided to peep into my blog to read this.  :)  I haven't kept up my posting as much as of old, but when I have a thought, I always want to pop on here and write it down.  And I hope you enjoy those thoughts.  ;)

Anyways, I want to talk about running - and more specifically about running in the RAIN!

First off, I really think that the Bible uses certain analogies and draws certain parallels on purpose.  There's much to be said about how the Bible teaches us.  It uses scenes from nature to help us understand key Biblical principles (Faith - like a mustard seed.  Sowing and Reaping.  Psalm 1 and the righteous man.  Etc.).  With that in mind, I do believe that there's a reason that living out our faith is compared to running a race (twice) in the New Testament.  There's something to be said about striving after a goal.

Anyways, I went running today.  And let me tell you about the weather - it has been overcast all day, and it has been raining for a couple days straight!  That means that everything has been thoroughly saturated.  ;)  When I left the house, it was kind of drizzling, and it never stopped while I was running...  if anything, it got worse and became a heavy sprinkle.  That being said, I noticed something...

When you're running in the rain, your tendency is to lower your head and plod on so that you don't get water in your eyes and become uncomfortable.

Sometimes doesn't life feel like that?  We are wet to the bone, can't see the sunshine, and everything seems dreary.

The Bible has just such an answer for your situation in Hebrews -  "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..."

Jesus was lifted up on the cross!  I'll tell you something...  I learned that I couldn't tell where I was going when I had my head down...  I mix it up when I run - I'll run on the cart paths and on the streets, alternating between both depending on how far I want to run.  But today in particular, I hit one uphill part that was hard to keep my head up on, and I missed my turn-off onto the cart path...  and I wondered if I had gone too far...  So I turned around and ran back a little bit.  ....Only to realize that I hadn't gone far enough yet!  So I turned around yet again to get to the right path.  It's the same in life.  We need to keep our heads up and fix our eyes on Jesus, or we will lose our way and lose time trying to find the right path.

When we get into these pits of life where it seems like our life is the hardest to live, if you keep reading in Hebrews - "...who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Now our trials seem little in comparison to what Jesus did for us.  And He did it for the JOY before Him!  I didn't go outside to run and make myself sad...  no, I knew I needed the exercise and I wanted to run my course.  If you look at the wording - "who for the joy set before Him..." it gives you a sense of being able to see what lies ahead.  You have a purpose here on earth - you have goals you want to accomplish...  When I was running home, I always know where I can stop my timer to give me an accurate time for a perfectly mapped out 5k - and when I'm running down that last stretch of road, it's like the race is perfectly set out before me...  this is the completion of all that I've been running for!  I can see clearly how far I've come, and how far I have left.  It helps a ton to be able to lift up your head and eyes and see what's before you.

Keep reading - "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Consider what Jesus did.  The Bible says to Consider Him.  We all know we have sinned.  We have sinned so much in our own lives, that someone else had to forfeit their own so that we wouldn't feel God's wrath on us every second!  Consider this as well - when you break a law, you are hostile against whatever made that law.  If you break an American law, then America would consider you hostile towards itself.  God says it's the same way with His laws.  But!  He not only knew about our sins...  but He endured them on the cross for us so that they wouldn't be counted against us!

When we are down...  We know we have sinned in some area, or we are just uncertain of what we should do or what the future holds...  Consider Christ.  Christ endured so much that in comparison, my trials and hurts seem insignificant.  I can look to Christ and I won't become weary or lose heart, because I know that He endured.  Jesus finished the race.  His example is the best one there is.

I'm almost finished...

"Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;

And if you run, you will not stumble." ~Proverbs 4:10-12

The theme of running/walking is widespread throughout the entire Scriptures.  I think it's only wise to understand what it means.

I know that when people are hurting, it's not a light matter.  In other places in Scriptures, we are supposed to feel how others are feeling at the moment, and then make our responses appropriate (weep with those who are weeping, mourn with those who mourn, etc.).  But I think this lesson can apply to us personally when we are going through rough trials.  We aren't supposed to hit others with the line "Why are you sad, you're supposed to be happy!  It's rough?  Oh, well, you're just not seeing things!  Wanna get some more cotton candy with me and take a stroll through the park?"  No...  Being bubbly all the time isn't the answer for every situation.  But if we apply it personally in our own lives, then there is also a right time to communicate it to others and encourage them with it as well.  You can't go wrong with suggesting passages from the Bible for others to read.  There is no such thing as "too much Jesus".  ;)

I hope you have gotten as much from this post as I have from thinking about it.  In fact, I hope you got more from it!  When one wants to learn, the opportunities are endless.  :)

That's all for now!  Until next time.  ;)

P.S.  Just a thought - but we were given such an advantageous spot (in life and the universe) where the only times we can't see light is when something comes between us and the Sun.