Monday, August 16, 2010


I am really enjoying getting back into running!  Ten years ago, I hurt my knee at the end of a marathon I was running to help raise money for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society in honor of my young son. Stevie bravely fought, but lost against leukemia, for three years.  I am just now able to run without pain in that knee. Wow, how time flies!

Running was a meditative experience for me, and truth be told, probably saved my sanity in the year after Stevie died. I would run everyday for over an hour singing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" at the top of my lungs, over and over,  because I could not pray, I could not weep, I could not smile. The singing enabled me to focus on God and not on my grief-stricken heart. The truth I have deep in my soul from that experience is that I know that no matter what happens in this life, "God's Truth abideth still!"

Friends and family have asked my how I could still believe in a loving God when they know what we went through with Stevie. It is hard to put into words. It is in an infinite number of ways that He shows me that He is there, and that He cares, deeply!  Most are intangible. I am always lifted up by the writer of Hebrews in chapter 11:13 where He says,"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."  And again in Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  Somehow, when we ask, God places this incredible hope inside our hearts. You can't deny it. It is so real. And then there is the all-consuming Love!....Try as I may, I have no words. I just know He is there.

Every now and then, however, God blesses me with something tangible and usually it is in a humorous way.  Last week I was running/walking out near our country place. I was praying and whining to the Lord to please help me focus more on Him. Suddenly from behind me, zoomed a car. It was a Ford Focus!  I laughed. I was reminded of the Nike slogan, "Just do it."  He was saying I already had the ability, just focus. And do you know? I did!

So, now I am running again (Still more walking than running, but I have my eyes on the prize!) It is helping me to focus on Jesus and on His great love.  It feels like I have turned a corner and am going in the right direction.  Just think, the starting place of an earthquake is called the focus!  Look out world!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Oh to Have a Heart Like Jesus!

I was reading in Matthew, chapter 20, about the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Jesus is illustrating the heart of the kingdom of heaven. As many times as I have read this parable, my usual selfish response has been, "It's not fair." I have always been convicted that I do not have a humble servant's heart. Jesus is so merciful and works so patiently with me.

It' a difficult story. But as I began to look at it through the eyes of those who stood around waiting to be hired, I started getting a different perspective. Supposing that all the laborers are living paycheck to paycheck; the ones who were hired early on are working hard, but have the peace that comes from knowing their families will eat that night, that their needs are met for that day.  The others have progressively less peace and more fear and perhaps hopelessness. So even though they are not physically laboring, they are emotionally and mentally laboring; wondering how they will take care of themselves and their loved ones.

This gives me a different sense. It's not that I feel better because the un-hired workers are stressed all day, but that I know I would certainly prefer to be in the first group- working and resting in assurance.
That's how it is in the kingdom for me. I am so glad to be in, and be laboring for You Lord, knowing the peace and assurance that You give about the future. When I see the trouble, sorrow, fear, torment and hopelessness in those who don't know You, oh how I rejoice in those last minute conversions!  I cannot begrudge even a little bit, the reward that they will receive from You.

Thanks for understanding me, Lord! Thanks for giving me a new heart. I am ready to get to work!!