We woke to a chilly morning, mist lifting off the water, drifting through the quiet rays of the rising sun.
I was thrilled to lace up my running shoes and log some miles in my temperature sweet spot of 57 degrees. Especially with a sea of details spinning in my head this week, I couldn’t wait to get out there and breathe deep!
But… it didn’t go exactly as I had hoped. My legs were sore and tired, a nagging twinge plagued my knee, and I was forced to slow to a walk. The pain was discouraging and I felt defeated by the unexpected distraction.
Strains of Kari Jobe’s song “Speak to Me” filled my ears:
“The sound of many waters calms the sea in me
The voice that ends the silence meets me in my need
Like fireworks igniting in my chest
The weight of Your glory, the reverence
I’m in awe that You would come to me
In awe that I could hear You speak
Speak to me, I’m listening“
Yes. I needed that. The reminder to slow down, listen, become aware, surrounded by His Presence, awed by His Person! To remember it isn’t my run that calms the swirling in my brain, but my Savior! He is the One who holds all the pieces, the One who holds me together and faithfully leads me to the right next step.
Thanksgiving for this beautiful morning and His tender care for me spilled easily from my heart. But I wondered, what could be the purpose of my rough run today? What did He want me to stop long enough to hear?
These are the thoughts that came:
“I’m slowing you down to help you see you’re not meant to sprint through these final days of preparation for the book launch. You need to live what you’ve been writing.
It’s ok to come to Me needy. Reach for Me and find that I am there. Slow the pace, lengthen the stride, pause, look up, savor… let Me breathe new life into your bones, strength to weak knees, air in your lungs, My words on your lips and My love expanding your heart to overflowing!
When you can’t take another step, it’s ok to fall weak before me. Flop on My wing and rest. Let Me show you what I will do with the “nothing” you have left. Let Me hold and carry you. When you’re ready, rise to your knees, wide-eyed to see… it’s time to soar! Stand strong in the face of doubt. I am with you.“
The further I walked, the more encouraged I felt to try running again. I was grateful to fall into a more comfortable stride, to breathe deep as this sweet time of thought and prayer continued.
Two more songs touched my heart.
The first pointed to a long-held battle with perfectionism, rearing its ugly head again as I wrestle details about this special event. I truly want to break free of the old “me” who frets over too many details, second guessing everything. I want the LORD to teach me how to serve Him from a different place – one that is marked by quiet confidence in His plan and His strength, an ability only from Him to step bravely forward!
From “Different” by Micah Tyler:
“I know, that I am far from perfect
But through You, the cross still says I’m worth it
So take this beating in my heart and
Come and finish what You started
When they see me, let them see You
‘Cause I just wanna be different
I wanna be changed
‘Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Oh is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there’s something different
The second song, “Thrive” by Casting Crowns, speaks my heart’s prayer for the singular purpose of knowing Christ and making Him known:
“Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died
Like a tree planted by the water
We never will run dry
So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
. . .
Into Your word we’re digging deep
To know our Father’s heart
Into the world we’re reaching out
To show them who You are
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire
Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
. . .
Joy unspeakable, faith unsinkable,
Love unstoppable, anything is possible
Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on High”
Yes, LORD, may this time of celebration truly lift Your Name on high! May I receive Your best gifts with joy. May I stand strong, freed from any hindrance to fulfill Your plans with confidence. May the love in my heart from You (and offered to You) explode in a way that embraces others and draws their hearts to You. Amen and amen.
Be still in the presence of the LORD and wait patiently for Him to act.
He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
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