I am not a strong runner on the best day, but today, everything was against me.
Staring down 6.8 miles alone is tough enough for me. But as I strapped on my sneakers and stepped out of my car, I was met with temperatures in the 40’s , drizzling rain and gusting winds. It was amazing I even continued on to the loop, as I am well known for my aversion to the cold.
The wind was incredible. I watched as a man in front of me was knocked of his bicycle when a wind gust hit him. I myself was bodily pushed of the trail several times by wind gusts; but when they weren’t pushing me around, they were delivering 40 degree, wet wind chill into this Floridian body.
After two miles, I was done. But the loop is 3.4 miles, so I had no choice but to keep moving. Every step was a struggle, mostly because of the wind providing so much opposition. It was the slowest I had run in years; I’m not even sure it counted as a run. It was exhausting. But somehow, I found myself near the end of the first loop, amazed I made it 3 miles, when I half jokingly said “Jesus, if You want me to keep running, You’d better tell me”. Immediately on my app, these words began playing in my ears…
“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.”
Amazing. I told Him I would try to keep running, but He’d have to come through on that promise. And as I began the second loop, shaking my head at my own stupidity, my phone alerted me that it was near the end of its power life. So I shut down the music, leaving only the app that would let me know my progress. I began to run, and I realized I was moving much faster and easier, even through the wind was still against me. I started chatting with Him, and before I knew it, I heard the app saying “30 minutes completed” and my time was a full two minutes faster per mile than the previous 3 miles. And then my phone died.
With less than a mile to go, I could no longer track my performance.
That’s the way it is with Jesus, isn’t it? He eases our struggles, He lessens our dependence on the world, and when everything fails – when we are tired and alone, and the trappings of this world fall away – we are alone with Him, and He won’t leave no matter how hard it is or how well we perform.
He keeps no record of performance.
When you run with Jesus, He doesn’t keep track of stats. He just asks you to stay with Him, to keep moving forward.
In the last 100 yards, a remarkably strong gust of wind came up behind me, pushing me forward almost as if I had wings.