Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
We are only on day 3 of the online bible study, and I have already learned so much about myself and how I respond to things (ie, what triggers my "unglued" moments and that it's okay to take baby steps . . . as long as I'm moving forward and making progress . . . imperfect progress).
As I focus on the memory verse from Hebrews, I can't help but think back (I mean, waaaaaay back) to my high school days. I ran cross country my junior and senior year (hence the reeeeeeeeeeeeally old pictures), and at that time in my life this verse meant everything. Not only did I apply it to daily training or the 2.5 mile course I ran for a meet, I also applied it to daily life, which I thought was real hard at the time. Looking back, I can say that life was much simpler then, especially since I did not know then what I know now.
It's been several years since my running days, and I've had many unglued moments in that time. Frankly, I haven't really liked the person I've become in the last 18 years. Rather than focus on God and His path for my life, I've tried to devise my own path and follow it. Well, as you can imagine (maybe you can relate?), I have ran in to roadblock after roadblock after roadblock. Sure, I’ve had happy times along the way, but in all of this“racing” I can attribute the good times to running with the Lord and the bad times to running my own path.
At this point in my life, I find myself desperately seeking the Lord’s guidance. This weight of empty arms has become more than I can bear. It’s become a “hindrance” to moving forward. It’s “entangled” my thoughts, and it’s kept me from running towards my Heavenly Father.
In chapter 1 of Unglued (page 14), Lysa TerKeurst says, “God gave us emotions. Emotions allow us to feel as we experience life . . . God gave me emotions so I could experience life, not destroy it.” That right there, that last part, EXPERIENCE LIFE, NOT DESTROY IT! It’s like being given permission to show emotion without any shame.
After reading her quote yesterday, here is what I wrote in my journal:
I only get one life on earth and, by God’s grace, I will have eternity with Him in heaven. While this may not be the path I would have chosen for my life . . . Sidebar: my path would have been the easy way of finding a Godly man, marrying that Godly man, becoming a mommy without any physical setbacks, and setting out to live the happily ever after with my family. . . anyway, I digress . . . while this may not be the path I would have chosen for my life, I know He allows me to express my feelings freely while on the path I'm currently running. Even Jesus expressed His emotions while here on earth (John 11:35 says “Jesus Wept”).
Now I want to turn my emotions into something positive. I want to use these emotions to experience life. Does that mean this path I’m on is going to get easier? Will it mean that I won’t have any more unglued moments? I’d like to say yes. But, realistically, I am human. God gave me grace though. He tells me it’s okay to fall as long as I get back up and make progress. I will persevere. He will be there to catch me if and when I stumble.
Our memory verse this week, Hebrews 12:1b, fits my life’s race to a capital T. I have been weighed down by my own baggage—it is a hindrance. And, the sin of bitterness, anger, and jealousy entangles me and has kept me from moving forward to the purpose God has for my life. But, now I am lacing up my running shoes, ready to take HIS path by storm, and running this race with perseverance I can only find by following His Word!
Progress . . . imperfect progress! It may be just a little progress made by teeny tiny baby steps, but I am trying. I am moving forward. I may fail tomorrow. I may have an unglued moment next week. But, I am living with the intent of staying focused on God's path. Satan may try and entice me with a shortcut, but I want to stay focused on the prize, the plan, the purpose God has for my life. At the finish line, I want to hear my Father say, well done daughter!
I’ll close my thoughts with one more motivational verse I used as a runner. I think it too is applicable to life's race.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Cor. 9:25)
Too all of my fellow "Unglued" sisters (and brothers), may God bless you as you make imperfect progress in your own race. Keep on running!!!!