Growth Opportunity

Over Christmas my mom gave me a book filled with short daily readings that her aunt had given her last year. She really enjoyed reading it and thought I would too. It is called Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. Since I do my devotional/Bible reading at night before bed, I thought this would be perfect for something quick in the morning. Each day consists of a short paragraph or two, written as if Jesus were talking directly to you. It is based on scripture that she provides the references for at the bottom, so you could look them up if you choose.

It has been amazing to me how some (many) of the days have been exactly what I needed for that day. But none so much as Sunday.

I have been struggling. I am training for this marathon that is coming up in April and am feeling like between some asthma/breathing issues, scheduling, and weather it has just been very difficult to get my training runs in the last couple of weeks. And that is frustrating. And it makes me scared that I won’t be ready for the race. So Sunday morning when I got up, anticipating another long run in the afternoon and wondering if I was going to be able to do it, here is what I read:

Strive to trust Me in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties. If you believe that I am sovereign over every aspect of your life, it is possible to trust me in all situations. Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment–accepting things exactly as they are–and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.

Trust is like a staff you lean on, as you journey uphill with Me. If you are trusting in Me consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed. Lean on, trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind. (Psalm 52:8; Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP)

Talk about exactly what I needed. Every single sentence I read (and have read over and over again) went straight to my heart.

  • Issues with training making me anxious = growth opportunity.
  • Embrace the challenge = gain blessings.
  • Belief God is sovereign = trust Him in ALL situations – even running.
  • Don’t worry about the past, look at right now and God’s way.
  • Lean on Him and let Him bear the weight. (This is a great one to think about when I am spent during a run.)

And while nothing has changed–my breathing has good and bad days, the weather is just crappy this time of year in southern Illinois, we lead a busy life–my attitude has. I am choosing to not be fearful about it. I am embracing the challenges and knowing that it won’t be easy (if it was – everyone would do it!), I am believing that God is with me on each and every run and I can call out to Him for His help and strength when I feel weak. It doesn’t matter if I had a bad run last week or missed one due to weather, I have today to try again.

And what a difference it is making to hold on to these promises when I am tired, struggling to breathe, freezing, etc. I guess that means I am taking this opportunity to grow!

As you read this today, is there an area of your life that you can apply it to? What is it and what kind of difference do you think it will make?

 

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