Running the Race #SSPreacherman

My lovely wife, Sonya, has another encouraging and inspiring blog for you.

Once upon a time, I (Sonya) used to run. I didn’t run for a team or as part of a sports program but just because I enjoyed the process. I am sure my form and warm-ups would cause a track coach major stress. Today if I am seen running, one could and should assume there is a great need, and the only I way could get there is by running. There are many famous runners in our culture, and they all run for different reasons. One man that ran for God was Eric Liddle. He ran in the1924 Olympic race and is probably best known from the movie, Chariots of Fire. He won the gold medal in the 1924 Olympics, finishing alone with no one even close. It is told that “he ran with Scripture in his hand, looking upwards and laughing with joy.” His entire being was involved in the race, and he explained his experience of running like this: “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure!” In the message Bible, we read “I run to you God; I run for dear life” (Psalm 31:1, MSG). If you are runner in the physical world, you run with purpose and with pride. God desires the very same from us in our spiritual walk with Him. He wants us to run with endurance knowing that just like Liddle and others Olympic runners, we, too, have an audience. Hebrews 12:1 tells us that “…since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

In running, we often become exhausted and need to be refreshed. In marathons, you see that there are tables set up along the route with water or some type of sports drink to do just that. In Scripture, we find that Jesus was tired from the journey and sat down at a well. In the Old Testament, Gideon was exhausted but continued the pursuit of the enemy. Samson cried out after a battle begging God for water or he would die. The truth is that we all get tired. Sometimes we are exhausted; we become weary from the race. The good news is that when the race of this life drains us and we feel that we cannot go on, we can go to the Father, and we can listen to the words of the prophet, Zephaniah. “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

As a parent and grandparent, I have been privileged to comfort and bring calm to my child and my grandchild. Sometimes your child has become exhausted from the activities of the day and collapses in your arms to sleep the night away. At other times, it is a battle as I spend the dark night singing them to sleep. Thankfully, the Father has a voice much sweeter than mine and He never misses a note. I find comfort in knowing that when I run to the Father and He takes me in His arms that He has a song for my heart and for my ears only. The mighty God who saves takes time to encourage and rejoice over me, a frail human unworthy of such attention. He takes time — not to rebuke or scold me but to cradle me and sing my song to me.

In Psalm 56:8, the psalmist reminds us that God has not allowed a single tear of sorrow to slip down my cheeks unnoticed. He has them stored in a bottle and recorded in a book. My hurts and sorrow are always before Him. They are there for a purpose. With every glance He takes, I am before Him, and He sees my tears of brokenness, humiliation, fear, and every sorrow that has sent these tears sliding down. He sees His child – overcome and helpless — and His heart is moved on my behalf.

Have you been there? Exhausted from the labor of the day or even the loneliness of the night? Have you felt the weight of raising children, from your job, or just life and the responsibility that comes with this journey? Have you ever come home to find those you love are there for you? The smile and the warmth of the hug tells you in that moment you are loved. That is what Jesus promised. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Fall into the Savior’s arms. Let your burdens fall at His feet. Feel the rest he gives. Be comforted and renewed so that you, like Eric Liddle, can say that you run and feel God’s pleasure in all that you do. Read the words of this Phillips, Craig and Dean song titled God Ran.

Almighty God, The Great I Am,
Immovable Rock, Omnipotent,
Powerful,Awesome Lord.
Victorious Warrior, Commanding King of Kings,
Mighty Conqueror and the only time,
The only time I ever saw him run,
Was when He ran to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to His chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice He said
“Son, do you know I still love You?”
He caught me by surprise, When God ran
The day I left home,
I knew I’d broken His heart.
And I wondered then, if things could ever be the same.
Then one night,
I remembered His love for me.
And down that dusty road, ahead I could see,
It was the only time,
It was the only time I ever saw Him run.
And then
He ran to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to His chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice He said
“Son, do you know I still love You?”
He caught me by surprise.
And He brought me to my knees.
When God ran, I saw Him run to me.
I was so ashamed, all alone, and so far away.
But now I know, that He’s been waiting for this day
I saw Him run to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to his chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice
I felt his love for me again.
He ran to me,
He took me in His arms,
Held my head to his chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice
He said “Son”
He called me Son.
He said “Son, do you know I still love You?”
He ran to me (When God Ran)
(I saw Him run to me)
And then I ran to Him
(When God ran)
When God ran

Written by Benny Ray Hester, John Parenti • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

 

 

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