Since I ran the Oklahoma Aquarium half marathon, a phrase (actually a bible verse) keeps floating around in my brain. It pops up during all sorts of situations, not just running. During the race, we went over a little bridge. I think it was possibly just a pedestrian bridge, I can't really remember. Some people had written inspirational phrases, bible verses, etc that you read as you ran. It was pretty neat, and distracting, which was a good thing! One of the things I read was "Let us run with endurance the race set before us, Hebrews 12:1" I"m not sure why, but it was kind of an "ah-ha!" moment for me. I repeated this to myself multiple times during the race. And I thought about it and what it meant. Obviously it applies to running. But it can be about so much more than that.
Right after my race we went to Branson with my Mom and Alan. In the car on the way there I told Rick about reading this verse as I was running and how much it helped me get through the 13.1 miles. The next day we went to Silver Dollar City. In one of the first shops we went in, I saw a pretty picture of some horses with something written on it. I walked over to it and what did it say? See for yourself.
How is it that I had never read this in the Bible or anywhere else? And why did it have such an affect on me? The truth is, I had probably heard it or read it somewhere and it just wasn't the right time for me to really notice it. While on vacation in September, I told my cousin Jennifer about it. She's so amazing by the way. She is also crafty and talented in ways that I cannot even fathom. I'm seriously in awe of her. I asked her if she would make me something to hang on my wall with that verse on it. She said to just e-mail her which version I wanted and she would do it. It took me forever to do it because I never do things as quickly as I think I will or should. On Saturday, I had lunch with her. Before we left her house she handed me a gift bag. In it was Cheez-its (my favorite food), a pair of my running socks, which is a funny story for later, and a frame with something in it. It was the verse! And it's beautiful.
It's truly impossible for me to explain what this verse means to me. It is a constant reminder that God is there for me and won't give me anything I can't handle. I ask God all the time while I'm running to just give me the endurance to finish. Did God set running before me? Who knows? I think God gave us free will, but I also think that he tries to steer us away from endeavors he doesn't want us to pursue.
Now when something in my life challenges me I can pray, "Ok God. You have given me this challenge. Now please help me rise up and meet it. Give me the endurance/strength/perserverance I need to make it through." I think that God set that verse before me as a lesson. A lesson that it's ok to ask for help. As it turns out, you can ask God for help with even the small things, like running. He might be a little busy with the big stuff, but me praying for strength somehow allows me to gain some. Often just admitting that you need help gives you the courage to finish on your own.
I have a friend who is struggling with something that I have struggled with all too often. It breaks my heart. I pray that God will give her the endurance to to get through this challenge like she has before.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with an orthopedist about my hip. My greatest fear is that he's going to tell me to take time off from running. But I know that no matter what happens, I will be ok. If anyone has any spare prayers or positive thoughts I could use them!