You WILL Run Again!

“Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins!” (Isaiah 53:4 NLT)

While in high school I played basketball in a summer league. While jumping for a rebound I came down wrong on my ankle and involuntarily crashed to the pavement. I’d never in my life experienced pain so severe. In that moment I wasn’t thinking about basketball, I was wondering if I’d ever walk again.

We feel like that spiritually at times. Guilt and shame drive us to the ground, and we find ourselves groveling in self-pity, wondering if we’ll ever rise again. Like Peter, we fail the Lord in ways we never dreamed possible, then find it difficult to conceive of ever being able to move beyond our failure.

God enabled Isaiah the prophet to see hundreds of years into the future even as he was enmeshed in the pain of his present moment. In Isaiah 24:16-18a we read: “We hear songs of praise from the ends of the earth, songs that give glory to the Righteous One! But my heart is heavy with grief. Weep for me, for I wither away. Deceit still prevails, and treachery is everywhere. Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, you people of the earth. Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will be caught in a snare.”

Our lives feel that way at times. We see the lawlessness of our world, where sin is rampant, and we seem powerless to do anything about it. Fear grips us as mass shootings increase, we’re afraid even to go to the grocery store. We know that one day God promises an end to all of this, but when? Our heart cries: “Lord Jesus, come!” But almost before the words are out of our mouths we think of our lost loved ones and friends.

Our failure is compounded by our deep desire to be useful in addressing the needs all around us, but if we can’t get up ourselves, how can we help anyone else? Satan’s strategy is to defeat us before we can get a foothold. If he can cause our thinking to be distorted, he can render us helpless in fulfilling the plans of God. If he can keep us from running our race, he can essentially eliminate whatever good we might have done.

That’s when we need a fresh anointing of God’s Spirit. That’s when we need to allow the Spirit’s voice to rise above our doubts and failures to enable us to see with fresh eyes all that God has done in and through our mighty Savior Jesus to equip us for victory. We CAN get up! We CAN run this race of faith victoriously – but not by ourselves.

It begins with allowing the Lord to refocus our attention, shifting it from our weakness to His strength; from our inability to forgive or heal ourselves, to His healing virtue released through His Spirit who dwells within; from all the things we’ve done wrong to all the things He did right! It’s not about us! Never was and never will be!

Jesus is our Victor! He’s our strength when we are weak! He’s our Redeemer when we feel like a throwaway! He’s our healer when we’re sick to death of our sinful bents! He’s our all in all when we’re worn and lame from the race of life! He undergirds and strengthens us when we feel useless and alone!

Listen child of God – JESUS IS ENOUGH! I’m not. You’re not. But HE IS! He’s your sufficiency! He’s your energy! He’s your lifeline that enables you to rise up when you think you can’t! He’s with you and for you, so hold your head up high and see your salvation coming at just the right time, in just the right way!

You WILL run again – with HIM!

Blessings, Ed 😊

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