What I learned that day I didn't want to go for a run...
I was up working very late one night last week... it had been a rough string of days, to say the least. And I was maxed. Naturally, that next day I was rethinking whether or not to go for a walk (it definitely wouldn't be a run that day, that's for sure). I just wasn't "feeling it," ya know? It was super hot outside and I was totally, utterly drained. But I made the decision I was going to walk anyway, and just take it easy.
Except, one problem. I live in a development full of hills. Steep, long, "make ya cuss, and gasp, and groan" kind of hills. This dawned on me as soon as I hit the street.
"Crap." I thought. Grrrr...
O'well... I already had my shoes on, and so... Playlist queued. Headphones in. Go!
It was as grueling as I expected. I'm not gonna lie. I hated life. "Frickin frick" were the only words going through my mind.... Until my randomly shuffled playlist played the song "Hills and Valleys" by Tauren Wells.
"On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there...
You're God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!"
God got my attention. Like a good Father, he corrected me, called me out, reminded me to give thanks for the hills, for the valleys, for the air I was gasping, the legs that were aching, and the house that was sitting way back at the top of that wretched hill.
He met me on the way up a hill, walked with me through the valley, and then up the next hill. He talked to me, coached me, showed me my neighborhood was just like the path of life... constant up and downs, never flat for long, takes your breath away, but all the while makes you stronger.
I began to imagine each hill was a difficult situation in my life -- situations that, honestly, I wasn't sure if I could get through. But God said "Yes you can." He said to pick up the pace. He told me to run. He reminded me that when I am weak, he is strong.
"Ok Lord, let's do this." I said. And I started to run. The breath of his spirit filled me and I conquered each hill with more ease than I ever remember doing before.
In a very real and powerful way God reminded me that these situations in life may seem like mountains ...but to Him they are nothing. And that they are only grueling when I take my eyes off him, when I give my thoughts to "Frickin frick" instead of thanks and praise. I am only gasping when I reject the breath of his spirit. I am only aching when I choose to walk alone without him.
It had been a rough week, yes... but that's precisely when I need him most. When I'm maxed, drained, dreading the hills.
Some of you are trudging up some mountainous situations right now. You're cussing and gasping and hating life. But your Heavenly Father is walking with you. He sees you, and would like the chance to breathe strength and power into you. Will you let Him?
Come on, friend. Let's do this.
At the top of one of my hills I could see the sun beginning to set. It was gorgeous. Just gorgeous. I had a feeling God was reminding me of the glory in store... for the day when we reach the top of that last hill, when we cross that finish line, at the threshold of eternity.
Keep going friends. Keep going. He is with you. He is for you.