Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Where Is Your Line?

My daughter and I have recently begun training for a 5K. She is a natural and gifted runner and I believe she could easily have more stamina than me if she could just learn to pace herself. She is one who gives it all that she has from the moment she begins something. She doesn't just "run" when we first start out, she runs, skips, hops, does windmills with her arms, and talks incessently. (One of the HUGE benefits of us doing this together! I've learned more about her thoughts and take on life in these few short weeks than I have in months.) The other day while we were out running she stopped. Leaned over grabbing her knees and while panting dramatically (did I mention that she is 7?) stated, "Mom, I'm thin enough, I don't think I need to run any more! You might need to, but I'm good." (Thanks sweetheart!) She had lost the vision of what we were training for when things began to get difficult. Yes, getting thin was one of my personal goals in all of this, but it wasn't the entire purpose for which we were training. She concluded that she was good enough how she was and she was content to stay at that level when the going got tough. When it required more of her than she was comfortable giving...

I had mentioned in my last post that there were two things that had spoken to my heart during the message this past Sunday at the church we were visiting. The second point that Dr. Ledford had made of the rich man in Mark 10 was that we all have a "line." A place where we tell God that we will do anything BUT... Jesus had asked the rich man to sell all of his belongings and to come follow Him. However, he was unwilling to do it. He "drew the line" at that so to speak. I got to thinking about where my line is drawn with surrendering to what God wants to do with my life. I recalled just recently when I was traveling to a Christian conference and Mercy Me's song, "Jesus Bring the Rain" came on the radio. I could easily sing,
"Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain..."

However, I found myself NOT singing the last phrase,

"But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain"

I remember challenging myself in that at the time and consoling myself thinking, "I have had enough rain!" It seemed foolish of me to ask for Jesus to bring the rain when I have spent so much of my life praying for the rainbow-peaceful seasons where no one I love is sick or dying. It was like praying for patience or long suffering to me. We all know that when you pray for those things all kinds of difficult things happen in order to increase those areas in your lives. :)

The Lord brought that to mind and I felt Him gently asking me to remove the "line" that I had drawn in the sand of my heart. To completely surrender my fear to Him about loss and suffering. To sell the "stock" that I placed in others in my life and be willing to walk in abandonment with Him even if that meant there would be storm clouds to face again in the future. Was it worth the cost to come follow Him? I cannot say that I am praying for Jesus to bring the rain. My ground is still moist; but I am willing. I know that there are many blessings that would be lost if I stayed here - stopped at my line in the sand unwilling to push past the fear. I am headed for the finish line-both in the 5k with my daughter and with my Savior.

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