Saturday, April 13, 2013

Run With Patience



Running with patience (Hebrews 12:1) seems like a contradiction. At the instant the starter’s pistol fires, the sprinter explodes from his crouched, ready position into energy powering down the track. If we have to run to catch the bus, or to remind our children of something before they pedal out of sight, we race to get there as fast as we can.

But the Christian “walk” is just that – more of a marathon than a sprint, often slowing to a walk. We wait patiently to catch the next surge of energy and direction our Lord provides exactly when it is needed (Isaiah 40:31; Proverbs 3:6). At times while we’re waiting on the Lord we’re crawling at what seems to be a snail’s pace, but as long as our direction is toward Him, we can have faith that we are on track.

At times the onslaught of the opponents is so fierce that we cannot even advance. At those times we must stand fast and hold our ground, knowing what and Whom we believe (1 Corinthians 16:13; Galatians 5:1; Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8). If we resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7).

To regain our momentum, we must set aside whatever is slowing our progress. Overt sins are surely a hindrance keeping us from fellowship with God and keeping us on the bench rather than actively engaged in the race. But even those habits and time-spenders that are not sinful, but that keep us from God’s best, slow us down (Hebrews 12:1)

But no matter how faint we may feel during this race (Isaiah 40:29-31; Galatians 6:9), and what hurdles and road blocks we encounter, we can have peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). We can have patience as we await the visible manifestation of His invisible working of all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). 
Our peace in the Lord (Isaiah 26:3) comes from knowing that if we stumble or grow too weary to stand, He will tenderly pick us up and carry us across the finish line (Isaiah 40:11).

God keeps us from falling when we stumble because He sees as faultless through the perfect righteousness of His Son (Jude 1:24-25), At the moment of salvation through faith in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection as the only way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6), the Holy Spirit placed us at the starting gate of this great race. He energizes us for the journey, reminds us of our goal and of the prize, and guides us through treacherous hazards and road conditions. Having set us on track, He will empower us to complete the race (Phillipians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Timothy 1:12)

Sometimes we joke that we don’t want to pray for patience, because patience is often the fruit of trials, tribulations, and suffering (Romans 5:3-4). Yet it is at these times that God’s power reveals itself most fully, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). As trials bring us to our knees, we draw closer to Him in prayer. Our faith grows, and with it our patience.

Unlike earthly races, there is not only one victor (1 Corinthians 9:24), for all who run for Him will win the prize of seeing Jesus face to face as we break the ribbon crossing over into Heaven, and spending eternity with Him there. There is no need for competition with the other runners, as we all pull together to help one another complete the race. We are surrounded by untold numbers of witnesses cheering us onward from the heavenlies, but ideally our fellow Christians here on earth also (Hebrews 12:1).

I am reminded of a true story from the Special Olympics of learning-disabled children running a race. At the starters’ pistol all took off, but one tripped and fell. All the others stopped running, turned back, helped their “competitor” get back up, and all crossed the finish line together, hand in hand!

As we run the Christian race, may we have patience to realize that “setbacks” are for our ultimate good and His glory. May we help and encourage one another! May we keep our eyes fixed on Him and on the prize that awaits every one of us on His team!

Isaiah 40:31  But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


© 2013 Laurie Collett
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38 comments:

  1. God bless you too, Denise! Love and prayers,
    Laurie

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  2. Hi Laurie,

    Great reading this morning! We may not think of the words "run" and "patience" in the same sentence, but patience in a race is the ability to endure until the finish line. It is the inner strength to have faith and refuse to become frustrated and/or quit.

    Blessings and hugs; have a joyful day!
    Denise

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    1. Thanks, Denise! Well said -- faith gives us the patience not to give up! Looking forward and upward to see His face at the finish line!
      Love and joy to you,
      Laurie

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  3. beautiful post, God Bless. Thank you for sharing your lovely blog at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop xo

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    1. Thanks Katherine, for your sweet comment and for hosting.
      May you have a blessed week!
      Laurie

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    2. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. xo

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  4. Dear Laurie,
    As one who used to run half marathons and completed triathlons in my younger days, I can identify with you about each runner receiving the prize at the finishing line, rather than the prize going to the overall winner only. Back in the 1980s, at the peak of my triathlon career, it was normal for every finisher to receive a medal, known as a Finisher's medal.
    It was controversal. I read of one champion athlete holding up a huge silver trophy he won by finishing first at one particular race, but he also wrote an article ridiculing the idea of the Finisher's Medal.
    I thank the Lord for not having the same attitude as that champion runner, but much more like the group of runners when one fell, and the rest crossed the line with each holding each other's hands. A great testimony of our Christian walk!
    God bless,
    Frank.

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    1. Thanks, Frank! What a shame that pride prevented the "champion" athlete from rejoicing in the accomplishments of all the runners.
      My husband and I compete in professional ballroom competitions, not for the judges' marks or the money, but as a means of ministry, as we bring Christian music and themes into secular arenas. If one person tells us they were moved by our dancing, that is reward enough. We dance for the audience of One, to His glory.
      Praise God for your compassionate attitude toward others in our Christian walk.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  5. Hi Laurie,
    yes the beautiful scriptures that you fit in to your post, and the way you have fitted them in, show just how our lovely Lord is there to help us endure in our race with his spiritual water to refresh us along the way. The prize at the end speaks for itself as to whether it is worth the perseverance eh? God bless you.

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    1. Amen, Brenda! As the song says, it will be worth it all when we see His face! Praise God that He has sent the Comforter and given us living water to energize our journey.
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  6. I think that going through narrow path of Christian life must be more slowly than going through wide highway to hell. But I also think, that our walking must be individual. Greetings for You - here in south Poland we have spring finally :)

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    1. Dear Zim, The gate to heaven is narrow, but once we trust Him as our Lord and Savior, our burden is light, for He carries it for us. Happy Spring to you, and blessings & greetings!
      Laurie

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  7. Thanks again for a great post, Laurie.

    If more people understood it wasn't about winning the race but about finishing, perhaps we'd focus less on competing and more on obeying.

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Donald. Coveting each other's progress and competing to overtake one another is what the world does -- the church should keep our eyes and our hearts fixed on only Him.
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  8. Ohh, Laurie, I know this was not meant for the run in Boston, but reading about running stings the heart today. That was a tragedy that a lot of people are seeing good in people over. Even in the ugly there is nice.

    And your post and the foundation behind them, are both lovely, like always.

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    1. Yes, Rosey, I wrote this a few days before the Boston Marathon. I pray that it will still encourage and uplift hearts despite the circumstances.

      Thank you so much for your sweet words, and for the reminder that God works all things together for good for those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose. And may He also use the events to bring others close to Him. My love and prayers go out to all who are affected by this tragedy.

      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  9. Good words for those who are thinking about running in terms of the recent tragedy, the truth that we are victorious through Him.

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    1. Thank you, Shelly, for your kind comment. Through Him we have the victory over sin and even death. Our prayers continue for all affected by this tragedy.

      God bless,
      Laurie

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  10. Good lesson for today and this very difficult week. Thanks for stopping by the TOTB hop and linking up! Following you now! http://www.mamashighstrung.com/

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    1. Thanks, Mama's High Strung, for your comment, for hosting, & for following! I'm following you back!

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  11. For they say the coming of Christ is near, and as I watch the news I fear for my children's lives, but yet anticipation for the coming of the Lord is great. I fear the end, but with open arms. How confusing in a way, but His light leads the way! I love your post as I dwell on a few of your thoughts it makes a mind think, but yet rest easier. Thank you for sharing. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Dear Marie,
      It truly is a frightening world, but praise God that through Him, we have no need to fear. May His light lead all to Himself and may He come quickly. Thank you for your encouragement -- you are a great blessing.
      May you have a blessed weekend also!
      Laurie

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  13. Looks like I commented below first, and then found this one. Lord works in mysterious ways as they say. Everything happens for a reason. :) I'm already following you my new friend or haven't you noticed? :) As they say walk with me, and I'll show you the way to that one you were looking for when you already had 99. Let me be the one you save, and I shall lift you up for Him to raise.

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    1. Amen, Marie -- there are no coincidences with God! (Romans 8:28). My prayer is always that the Spirit will inspire our words, ministry, and all we do to lead others to Him. Thank you for following and for your blogging ministry -- you are a great blessing!
      Love in Him,
      Laurie

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  14. Oh yes Laurie! The race is not given to the swift or the strong, but to him who endures til the END! Thanks for the reminder and thanks for linking up...may you have a blessed weekend!

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    1. So true, Michell -- may we endure through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Thanks for your lovely comment and for hosting, and God bless!
      Laurie

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  15. Hi Laurie,
    it is good when we can have the understanding and meaning of a dream, and quite often it will follow, or go ahead of, scripture. Temptation and sin can, as in your dream, appear in a very appealing disguise. The enemy is a total deceiver, but the Lord gives us wisdom to recognize what is from Him and what is not. If we seek His will in our lives we will mature in His wisdom. Lovely post, God bless you.

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    1. Hi Brenda,
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. Praise God that believers are indwelled with the mind of Christ, and that He will guide us to perfect wisdom if we die to our flesh and sin nature.
      God bless you and your ministry too!
      Laurie

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  16. Visiting from the TOTB hop, now following via GFC.

    If you haven't linked up yet on my Bloglovin Blog Hop, I would love you to drop by:

    Bloglovin Blog Hop

    Take care,
    Meg
    Happy Kids, Inc

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    1. Hi Meg,
      Thanks so much for your comment & invite, & for following! I'm linked up & following you back!
      Blessings,
      Laurie

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  17. Laurie,
    Too funny. I just posted to Playdates - the Sunday Stillness and there you were. I know we are supposed to meet face to face some day.
    Many blessings for your timely words of wisdom.
    love: To regain our momentum, we must set aside whatever is slowing our progress.

    Yes - now I am off to bed - to gain momentum for the morrow.
    Blessings
    Janis www.janiscox.com

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    1. Hi Janis,
      That is funny! I think you're right -- God has planned a face-to-face meeting for us some day! Sounds like you had a wonderful time meeting many bloggers at the conference -- sorry I missed it!
      Thanks as always for your kind encouragement, and many blessings to you,
      Laurie

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  18. This is a very nice post, God Bless.
    Thank you for sharing with us and linking via our WWHop.
    Happy day!

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  19. Beautiful post! Thank you for joining us at Let's Get Social Sunday last week! Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes

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  20. Thanks for the encouraging post on running the race. May we all keeping placing one foot in front of the other as we run for our Lord.

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  21. Thanks for sharing with us at A Mama's Story. Your post was among the top 3 most visited in last week's link-up so will be featured tomorrow, pinned, and shared across the web. Thanks again and help yourself to a button. :)

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