You Can Run

“You can run,” my doctor replied.

You could have heard a pin drop in the silent room as I turned and stared wide-eyed at him. Was he even listening at all? I had just explained to him that most days I couldn’t get up from the couch without my heart racing and everything turning black. I explain those symptoms and he gives me permission to run?

“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Isaiah verse has been precious to me for some time now. Every couple of years God reveals more of the verse for me. When the doctor said to me, “you can run”, I just marveled. Honestly, I am marveled at his stupidity! But I also marveled that maybe one day running would be possible.

That day is here. I have been doing what I can since my kidney transplant in December 2018. Beginning with very short walks and building up. But each day is different. Some days I sit. Some days I lay down. Some days I walk. And now some days I jog.

It is seriously just a jog. Not a run. And it doesn’t last long. But it is a step above walking. And it feels marvelous.

As a kid, I loved to run. I played all the sports and loved the feeling of working hard and pushing my body to the brink of exhaustion.

Chronic disease stole that from me for a long time. I’ve never given up exercising and I’ve just always done what I can.

This side of heaven, there are times when I just stagger along on a good day. Other days I am paralyzed by pain, fear, or worldly cares. And sometimes I have days where I can jog.

It’s so hard to wait on the Lord. It was especially hard when a medical professional was looking at me telling me I can run and I knew that wasn’t possible. The Lord wanted me to wait. He wanted me to rest. He had and still has so much for me to learn.

The Isaiah verse tells me to wait on the Lord to renew my strength.

I will wait on you, Lord. And as I wait, some days I will walk and some days I will run.

And one day I will soar.

Church in the Woods

The cross hangs prominently in the sanctuary of evergreens. The filtered light illuminates the aisles between the forest growth. The words of praise fill my ears, mind, and heart.

“My God will never fail. I am going to see a victory! I am going to see a victory. The battle belongs to you, Lord.”

Walking further down the trail, the worship quiets and the sermon begins in this church in the woods. It begins with a lesson of overcoming.

The attacks come. Discomfort, sweat pouring down, hungry stomachs, scratchy clothing. Pain, aching feet, sore muscles. Fatigue, body weak. Complaints, overwhelming focus on everything wrong.

“But God,” the preacher in the woods continues. “But, God is our strength and refuge. Our ever present help.”

Next up, a prayer of thanksgiving. “Our pain is real. But we thank you, God! Blue sky. Colors abound. My family. This worship. This day. This body carrying me on this hike. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, God. Praise you!”

The preacher in the church in the woods continues on. This portion of the sermon designed to focus our hearts on God.

“See how the flowers all point upward toward the Maker. The trees stretch high up to the Maker. The river water rushes toward the Maker. Every good and perfect gift is from the Maker.”

This Spirit-led service continues on to more worship.

“Everything you have made is beautiful. Oh my God, I can’t believe my eyes. In all of this to think that you’d still think of me, makes my heart come alive.”

The preacher isn’t done yet.

“The church is not a buliding. The church, Christ’s church, is everywhere. Anywhere. Anytime you see Jesus. Anytime you hear His words. Anytime you are filled with His Spirit and walk in it. There is the church. These woods, this very moment, you are at church.”

The preachers words and this church in the woods are what my soul needed this morning. No building. No plan. No choir or band.

Just Jesus.

In this church in the woods.

Sound Mind

www.youtube.com/watch

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
‭‭II Timothy‬ ‭1:7 
Sound mind: clearheaded, calm, making wise decisions.
What do you think of when you read the phrase sound mind in 2 Timothy 1:7? And, how can you apply that to your life today? I would love to read your thoughts below. 

Search and Cleanse Your Heart

www.youtube.com/watch

Welcome! I am Lisa, promoter of Jesus, sharing my faith through chronic disease and trial.

When you read the book of Proverbs does it feel like a list of impossible tasks or impossible to achieve behaviors?

Read Proverbs 20 and see the instruction given about our hearts. We first need cleansing and healing of our hearts in order for our actions to be what we truly desire them to be.