What a fantastic run this morning. I was determined to go 8 miles and I knew that it was going to be tempting to stop at 6 miles because I would see my car. My legs were tired but my heart was determined, so I made a u-turn and did 2 more.
So many beautiful things happened during the last 2 miles and to think I would have missed them if I had stopped. I won’t share them all now but I will share this: At around mile 4, I ran by a man who was running in the opposite direction and we gave each other the polite running nod. Then, I saw this same guy as I was running mile 8. He was coming towards me on the same side of the road. As he passed me, he lifted his arm in the air for a high-five. I happily slapped his hand and let out a “Woohoo!” I love runners. Giving high-fives to total strangers is completely acceptable behavior.
I shared those thoughts on Facebook yesterday. That moment, of giving a high-five to another runner, was the perfect ending to a great run.
Shortly after I started running my normal route yesterday, I noticed an empty discarded travel size wine bottle on the side of the road. Sightings such as that instantly trigger my gratitude button. I am so grateful little bottles of wine are no longer a part of my life. The days when I would dig through my purse to gather up enough bills and/or change to purchase a couple of those (easily concealable) bottles are long gone. Those days when I was held captive by drinking thoughts and drinking desires are no more. I am free. Thank you, Lord!
As I ran this same stretch of road on my way back towards my car, these words were playing in my ears…
“You break unbreakable chains, walls fall at the sound of Your name, the lost are found, the old is new, You do impossible things, impossible things.” (Impossible Things, Ben Honeycutt)
And, as I made a u-turn on tired, determined legs I heard these words…
“I may be weak, but Your Spirit’s strong in me. My flesh may fail but my God You never will.” (Give Me Faith, Elevation)
And then, a few minutes later, I spot two deer walking slowly out of the trees and crossing the road in front of me. A third deer appears out of the trees too, but instead of crossing the road he stands there and watches me. As I run by him, he continues to follow me with his eyes. I notice as I pass him that he is standing just on the opposite side of the road from where the empty wine bottle is discarded.
How fitting, Lord. The broken on one side. The victorious on the other.
Two verses of scripture wrapped themselves around my heart during those last two miles of my run.
My heart says this about You
“You are to seek My face.”
Lord, I will seek Your face. Psalm 27:8
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer
and sets me securely on the heights. Psalm 18:33
And then, I heard these words played in my ears…
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You
You make beautiful things out of the dust.” (Beautiful Things, Gungor)
Perhaps this moment is only significant and beautiful to me. Because that’s how our Savior operates. He enters our moments and speaks and interacts with us on a personal level. Like Nathanael sitting under the fig tree before Phillip invited him to come meet Jesus, our Creator intimately knows us and each of our stories. (John 1:43-50)
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me
Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory”