Wednesday Wisdom 🙂
Inspiration for this week comes from the book of Psalms 40: 1-3
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”
As the mother of teenagers, I often think about what active faith means and how to best help my children to internalize the art of walking with God. Because each of us is different, I don’t really think that there is any set formula for the walk — rather there are tools that we can uniquely use in our journey as we abide in Christ.
I think of my faith journey like a succession of distance runs:
- There is the beginning where excitement drives action
- There is the middle where doubt takes root as discomfort and fatigue creep in
- There is the end where challenge escalates and a full and changed heart creates needed perseverance
As one run ends, a new one begins.
I remember clearly the day that I figured out exactly what it meant to lean on God with active faith. I was out for a long run and I felt terrible. I don’t know what it was, but that day my legs appeared to have lead in them and each step hurt. I was right in the middle of a five month training plan for my first half marathon, and had a goal of getting in 9 miles that morning — running on the gravel road from our house to what used to be our cattle feed yard and then back.
I had my earphones on with my “God rock” christian music playing. I have a habit of talking to God while I run, so I lifted my eyes to the early morning sky and asked God if I could make a deal with him. I said:
God, if I keep my feet moving will you guide me on the journey?
I don’t wear a watch when I run, but I am certain that I negative split my 9 miles that morning. The more that I concentrated on feeling God’s guidance, the lighter my feet became. The lead went out of my legs as a sense of peace filled my heart. I still feel that peace in my heart — it provides a steady hand of support as I continue to move my legs each and every day. That day, I learned what it meant to abide in Christ.
The three verses from Psalms listed above speak to my heart. Meaningful prayer occurs when we open our hearts to God’s direction.
- God turns to me and hears my cry.
- When it gets hard and it seems that I am in a pit of despair, I keep moving and God sets my feet on solid ground and steadies me as I walk along.
- He gives me a new song to sing as I am called to walk with Him. As I put my trust in God, He allows me to peacefully walk through the resistance by filling my heart with loving confidence.
- I hope that my response as I follow not only brings joy to God, but also helps others to put their trust in Him.
A little over two weeks ago, I answered what is likely my most intentional call from God. It came during a run on a day when I was experiencing sadness and turmoil. As I moved my feet, I asked God for direction. I received a very direct response almost immediately. God asked me:
To reach out in love to a young man whom I had been tutoring.
Ten days later, my favorite farmer and I (together with our girls) welcomed that young man into our home. I do not know exactly what the future holds, but I know that as we share God’s love that we bring honor to our faith and meaning to our lives. Together, we make a new family — One that is moving with strength on a new journey. I am packing my faith to live with grace – letting go of the worries and celebrating the joy.
I fulfill my part of the bargain as I put one foot in front of the other, trusting that God will protect us as we use active faith to live out His call.