I was on mile 3 of the run. I was looking around at the runners beside me thinking to myself, "Boy I love these runs!" Then all at once I felt my left foot begin to go numb. “Oh this is great Lord, please not today, not on this run...not now!” I then knew what would come next.....my leg would go. That’s when I’d get creative and hop until the feeling came back. I knew what to do, I had done it so many times before. It was the Jingle Bell Run, and everyone was dressed up in Christmas costumes. In fact I was delighted to have Santa, the Grinch, and a snowman running with me. But as my speed slowed and the hopping began, Santa asked me if I needed help. “Oh, it will pass...go on without me.” He was an elderly little Santa, (but man could he run!) He didn’t want to leave without helping. So I hopped, and he jogged slowly with me until the feeling came back and I was on my way again.....just minus the snowman and the Grinch.
We had a great talk Santa and I. We talked about the seasons of life. He had struggled with health issues this past year just as I had. We also talked about how God had been faithful through it all. He suffered with a disease called ankylosing spondylitis. I’d heard those words before as I sat on the doctors table being diagnosed with that long word over a year ago....one I couldn’t even pronounce. That’s why he stayed with me on this run. He knew what it was like to hop in races. He’d been there. And he didn’t leave my side. He told me he remembered a race that he literally hopped for a mile until the feeling came back. We laughed at the humorous things that we had gone through. It was so fun to laugh about it.
As we parted ways after the run, I was so thankful for the people God had strategically placed in my life to help me along the way. I also began thinking about this season of life that I am in. Yes there have been some hard blows, really hard blows, but as I sat on the curb catching my breath I realized that God was teaching me how to rest...how to trust...how to have faith like never before. This season was not going to be defined by the hard blows, but by the life changing things God was teaching me about trusting.....and resting in Him.
Someone once said to me that to rest meant I wasn’t trusting...I wasn’t moving. I needed to run this race! Hmmm. I agree that running the race is important...but rest is a part of the race sometimes. A very important part. Sometimes the most important part! Just as I was at a point where I physically could not run in the race today....I had to take a break, hop for awhile, even sit by the curb for a minute...and start back up when my body would let me again. If I hadn’t I would have been run over by the other runners.
The enemy would love to run me over in life. I have seen him try on many occasions this year. I realize that sometimes resting takes practice. I am not a good rester. Those of you who know me, know how true this is. God has had to help me on this one.
I did a study on resting in the presence of God. And I was amazed when I learned that rest can be a weapon! A weapon we use in the battles that the enemy throws in our path to defeat us. It is a sword in our hand. Resting never allows the opposition to dictate how we think or feel. Never. It brings all negativity to a standstill. It has the best jab ever. It has the confidence and the assurance to say “No, you are not coming in.” when the enemy comes knocking.
When we enter into the rest of God, we are at peace within His shadow. The Bible even serves to remind us in 1 Kings 5:4 that God will give rest to us on every side and that there will be no adversary or disaster that will be able to penetrate His great love. He goes before us in every situation to make the crooked paths straight.
So as I sit here thinking about this run today. I have to chuckle. I finished in record time (even with my resting in the middle). And wouldn’t you know, I ran through that finish line with Santa Claus. Does it get better than that? God knew I needed some help today.....and as He always does...He came through once again. Thank you God for rest. Your arms are big, your peace indescribable, and your healing complete.
My prayer is that whatever season you are facing, no matter how insurmountable the hurdles and race you are in may seem....that you find rest. Your miracle is waiting there. I promise...you will not only win the race victoriously....you will cross the finish line in record time! God won’t let you down.