Last night I dreamed that someone was teaching me how to run. He didn't just teach me with words. He ran beside me. We started running series of simple sprints. After each run, he'd point out what made that run even better than the previous. Without putting too much focus on what was slowing me down or what I was doing wrong, the focus was more on the dynamics involved with motion, breathing and physical stamina.
After several sprints, I was able to recognize the change, not just in how I ran but also in my perspective, my determination, my thinking. I knew my goal wasn't to perfect my steps but to find that perfect fit for me as I ran and to refine my steps to get where I needed to be without holding myself back.
My teacher stepped into the background, and I was running on my own. But during the final sprint, just steps before the finish line, he unexpectedly threw a hurdle in my path. I almost made the jump. Still determined to cross the finish line with a healthier stride, I went back to start and ran the length again and made the hurdle with ease. My teacher commended me for my determination but told me something I woke up thinking deeply on: "Perseverance, determination and inner strength are not proven by making the hurdles that you know are already there. They reveal themselves by us making the unexpected hurdles as we journey forward. What we receive along the way to prepare for the unexpected makes all the difference whether we will make it through or not."
And so I woke up with plenty to think about.
How could we, as sisters in this Christian journey, prepare for unexpected hurdles? It's about strengthening and growing our steps of faith through embracing the One who we have faith in and receiving His blessings for us.
When it comes to change and growth, we don't need our whole persona to be restructured. God planted in each of us amazing qualities, gifts and talents that will benefit His Kingdom. We are created in His image after all. It's those parts of ourselves we create along the way and hold onto that are not healthy or productive to our journey that need to be purged and replaced with fruit-filled seeds. It's about releasing and entrusting our weaknesses to His hands. He can mold us, reshape us and refine our steps to bring us to a healthier place in our spirit.
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." (Psalm 51:10-12)
Hmmm. This is where I'm at - and I am thankful for that. What about you? Where are you in your journey?
For the most, I've been making great strides through His Presence in me and that is where my focus needs to be and not make those unexpected hurdles bigger than Who He is and what He has done and is doing in me every day. Grace awareness!
"... my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." (Acts 20:24)
Blessings on you, dear one, and glory to God! Faith-forward!