I hate running. Growing up, I never understood why running was considered a sport because when coach told me to run it was normally because I was being punished. Ironically, the two girls on my World Race team are hard-core runners. Like wake up at 6 am hard core. And because I am one of the most competitive people you’ll ever meet, I run with them. But it’s hard. After breaking my tibia and fibula in a bad skiing accident, running has been challenging. Sometimes I just want to quit and give up. I often do the same thing when faced with challenging things in my life. From the start of the race, I have been running. Running from pressing into un-delt pain which kept me from having true intimacy with The Lord. This made me question if any good could come from the pain in my life.
C.S. Lewis says in his work The Problem of Pain that
Suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, is submission to the will of God, and, for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads.
If the pain in my life has caused me to grow closer in my relationship with God, then the price was a small one to pay. May the hardships in my life cause me to run to The Lord and not from Him. And if my sufferings cause people to know The Lord, then I know it is not in vain.
My running from the pain stops now. I pray that my pain and emotions become vehicles leading to God. I must learn to manage my emotions to keep them from managing me, my World Race and later the rest of my life. It is time to stop running from pain and go to Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1–2 says,
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..”
But, where am I at in my race? What if I’ve gotten off track? Where do I start? Running the race starts with Jesus. It starts with fixing my eyes on Him. If I run toward Him, healing will happen in His timing. I refuse to quit running the race, because it’s in the midst of the run that God will change me most.
At training camp for The World Race, they gave an analogy of our emotional cup. If we don’t deal with painful emotions, our cup will overflow and run over into all areas of our life, and wounds we don’t deal with lead to actions we cannot control. I’ve stuffed my pain and emotions for so long I feel like I’m a volcano that is ready to erupt at any given moment. I’m finally done pretending. It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way. Now is the time to bring all my pain and hurt to The Lord.
My un-delt with pain distorts my view of everything around me, including my view on God. I’m done looking at life and at God through Satan’s viewfinders. Today marks the beginning of the healing process God has is store for my brokeness. I can’t go on forever without facing my pain. I must learn what it looks like to press into that pain and brokenness and walk through it into wholeness with The Lord. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that time doesn’t heal pain; God does.
Someone very wise once told me,
The price for his presence is time.
The more time I spend running (physically), the stronger my run will become. The same goes for my spiritual run. The more time I spend running to The Lord, the stronger my relationship with Him will become. My prayer for this month is that The Lord gives me the desire to fix my eyes on Him and Him alone. God’s process of healing requires my participation, which requires spending time in His presence.
And the good news is, just like Hannah and Tanna run with me (or more I with them), God runs with me. I do not have to do it alone. Intimacy with The Father is created through our run together. It is comforting to know that God runs with me through the good times and the bad times. My struggle does not amount to nothing. God is a God of redemption, and He redeems the pain.
Maybe someday I won’t hate running anymore. Until then, it is going to require pressing into pain (physically and mentally) to get there. Thankfully, I have God running with me every step of the way.