Running After Jesus

If you have time today, please tune into The 700 Club. My Proverbs 31 sister Wendy Blight is being featured telling her story of surviving rape and learning to trust God. Click here for more info.

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This morning, I am headed to the gym to work out before starting school with theΒ  boys. I’ll hit the treadmill and run…okay jog/walk….a mile or two.

Further east in Hopkinton, Mass., my niece Laurelin and my nephew’s girlfriend Jessica are getting ready for a run too. However, their jaunt will be just a tad bit longer.

When the runners line up and the starting gun sounds, they will take off in the 114th running of the Boston Marathon.

26.2 miles!

We know their bib numbers and can track them throughout the day. It will be fun to see how their many months of training pay off. What is most amazing to me is that my niece asserts that she has never thought of herself as a runner.

Oh she used to run two or three miles, but nothing more. Then, she got the notion in her head to try to run a half marathon. Even after training for and completing that feat, when asked if she was “a runner”, still answered no. Because running isn’t something she has done all of her life nor something that comes easily, she somehow didn’t feel she could identify herself with that term.

In fact, it wasn’t until just a few short days ago, after training for months, sometimes at the crack of dawn, or in the driving rain or freezing snow, (or sometimes in all three!) that the notion actually popped into her head, “I am a runner. A marathon runner”

No need to compare herself to those for whom it comes easily, those who are built like natural runners, have been running for years or come from a long line of runners.

No ma’am….she is every bit a much a runner as those athletes.

In the race of life I have met many women who are running hard after Jesus. They desire to know and obey Him; to experience the full life He has planned for them and to help others do the same.

However, I often meet sweet souls who feel discouraged because in the race for heaven they don’t think of themselves as “natural runners”.

They see others who come from a long line of Christians, prominent in their local church. Or women who can quote Bible passages without turning a page, while they still need to rely on the table of contents.

They don’t know the “lingo”, nor all of the songs everyone else seems to have memorized. Or they haven’t always lived a crystal clean life and subtly it seems that they feel disqualified in a way.

But the wonderful news about living life with Christ is that none of this disqualifies you indefinitely.

Man looks at the outward; God sees the heart.

How you start isn’t nearly as important as how you finish.

If you love Jesus and are sold out to Him, you are a runner!

Believe it! And then….

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Running alongside you,

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  • Being chosenfor the Cecil Murphy She Speaks scholarship would be an honor. I am a 44 yo woman, married for 22 yrs, mother of 4, major bread winner, employed full time outside the home & own a small business as well. People look at me and see a completed woman living a blessed life. They seek out my advice and compliment me on “doing such a great job”. What they don’t know about are the events in my first 22yrs that occurred that have made my into the woman I am today. Some things I was so shameful of that I didn’t even share with my husband until we had been married for 10 yrs. The people that know even part of my testimony are shocked that me, Little Miss Homemaker with the great husband, beautiful children and such talent in so many areas could actually be the same women I have just finished telling them about. Some have asked me to share my story with their church or small group but I know the Lord wants me to share it with large multitudes of women. He has set aside the precise place & moment. Being chosen the receive the Cecil Murphy She Speaks scholarship would allow for me to receive the instruction do just that. Thank you ~ Kelly Cooke Psalm 40:2 & Psalm 37:23

  • I hope your niece was pleased with her race.

    Thanks for this post. I spent this past Saturday in some training for speakers (for a non-denominational group). There was a lovely woman in our group who quoted scripture after scripture after scripture. I felt so inadequate. I came to know my Lord late and don’t have that background, though I am studying hard.

  • What wonderful timing to read! How did the race go? I too have a hard time considering myself a “runner”, you know the whole comparison-to-the-elite-runners-thing :) The Lord asked me to start running 4 years ago – 3 marathons, 8 half-marathons later, I’d need pages to tell you about all the lessons I’ve learned. My husband and I are heading to Nashville this weekend, Columbus the next, Indianapolis the next, and Cleveland the next. With each race he’s provided friends to stay with and companions to run alongside the way. I consider it a privilege to be “running” with and after Him! Thanks for all your honesty in your weight-loss, may the Lord continue to be lifted up! Have a great week!

  • Thank you so much for this. I’m sorry I did not read it until today (Tuesday). I may have told you this before, but I am training for a 5K – was asked to do it as a “publicity stunt.” The 5K will raise money for our local free health clinic. The folks on the board thought that if they can get me to train and write about it (I write for our local paper), that it would generate more interest and get people involved. Especially me, I guess, because I am a middle-aged, busy mom, and I am, let’s just say, “athletically challenged.” I agreed to do it b/c the cause is a great one. But I did so with all trepidation about public humiliation! I just got an email this morning from the coordinator of the race that so far ten times more people have registered than have in years past at this point in time before the race. She is considering it a success. As for me, I will consider it a success if it raises more funds this year, and if more people become inclined to start exercising (like I have done – knowing that it will be good for me in the long run). (No pun intended.) But, I do not consider myself a runner for sure – in fact, I said in my first column that I hate running. I’ve discovered that I feel a sense of satisfaction when I’m done, but the doing it is excruciating! I know that God has some lessons for me in this, too. BTW – I walk much more than I jog. I finally made it the three mile point last week, and I think I ran a total of 1/2 mile – maybe! But a few months ago I wasn’t even moving. :)

  • Thank you for posting this today! I am running in a half marathon this weekend and it was nice to hear that there are other people out there like me. This will be my 3rd half but I definitely don’t consider myself a runner either! You hit the nail on the head with the comment about not always being a runner or coming from a family of runners. It is does not come easy for me and I am not fast (compared to “real” runners). I don’t feel that I was built that way but I mainly do it to stay in shape so I’m ok with that. And I love being able to say I’ve run 13.1 miles. And that I can eat pizza and cookies after that (in moderation of course) =)