Isaiah 40:31 says “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” As of last Sunday, I had completed 353.8 miles and 142 runs and had never experienced what is promised in Isaiah.I’m super excited to be running my first race in over two years today. I’m pushing myself a little, since I’ve only done 3 miles twice recently. Last Sunday morning came and I knew if I wanted to get one last longer run in before race day, that was the day. The weather was yucky, but the radar looked like it had moved on and the forecast said it was supposed to clear up. I laced up my shoes and left, determined to do a whole 5k. (Two things you need to know: 1. I feel accomplished when I can run a challenging distance without stopping. I feel like a failure when I have to stop to walk. I know I shouldn’t, but I just do. My goal is always to complete the distance I set for myself without stopping. And 2. I don’t run in the rain. I’m scared my clumsy self will fall or my phone will get wet. Don’t know which one would be worse. ) So, I set off and things were great until I got to the section of my run that is about the furthest away from our house and it started to rain. My oh so stylish fanny pack phone holder is waterproof, so it was ok- I know you were worried- so what was I to do but keep running? If I stopped, I’d just get wetter and there weren’t any puddles for me to injure myself in yet, so I just kept running. About half a mile later though, I started to feel like I couldn’t do it anymore. Maybe I had picked up the pace too much, ready to be home and dry but for whatever reason, my breathing was off and I couldn’t talk myself to going on anymore. I stopped and walked for about half a block and started up again, but before long I had to stop again. I walked about the same distance and once I got my breathing under control, started up again. I was able to keep running till I finished mile two. About this point my route makes a nice loop and I’m back near my house. If I’m ready for a cool down walk, I take a right. If I take a left it takes me one mile to loop back to my house the long way. I was soaking wet but determined to finish a 5k, no matter what, so I took a left and braced myself for what I thought would be another tough mile. With about half a mile to go it dawned on me that I was feeling more energized than when I started out. I never had to stop again, or even felt like I needed to, the whole rest of the run! I can say I’ve never experienced being that low and then that high during the same run before.
I felt God telling me sometimes I need to humble myself. I won’t always succeed at everything I venture to do, and when I try to do it all on my own, I probably won’t. I was discouraged that I had to walk, but I didn’t let it defeat me. Because I didn’t give up completely, and take the short way home like I could have done, he exalted me and renewed my strength! He really did! But if I would have forced myself to keep going without stopping, with my burning lungs and aching legs, I would have worn myself out, for what, a very small victory in my own eyes. The real victory was me being able to be humbled without being defeated! What I thought was a failure brought about a huge blessing- the chance to experience Him renewing and strengthening me like never before!
It is not fun to be humbled, to fail at something, especially if it is in public view. God doesn’t intend for us to be shamed though. Shame never, ever, comes from God. We might need a reminder though of who is in control, that way the right person gets the credit for the victory. When we keep going, keep relying on Him, keep giving Him the glory- telling about the good things He does for us- we will be living out our purpose, which is a victory indeed. If you’ve got a goal you’re working on, don’t let a setback discourage you; a wonderful blessing is waiting on the other side if you’re willing to keep going!