Laughter regularly splashes over my life, such as when my three-year-old mischievously puts his clean clothes in the fridge, and when my six-year-old exclaims, “Mama look in the mirror! Your eyebrows are bushy.”
I find joy in new friendships and new opportunities. I am forever grateful for a good family and a cozy nest to call home. I like my books and coffee on sleepy mornings, and I even like to see the cat swinging precariously on the porch swing, dutifully cleaning her face.
Most of all, I love talking about Jesus to people who are yet unsure about Him. I love showing kindness and feeling that kindness returned.
Still, the life I have chosen brings sadness that sometimes seems disproportionate to everything else.
Will senses the pain gnawing at my insides and kindly suggests, “Go for a walk around the lake and cry it all out.”
I wish he could go with me, since he is such a solid and comforting presence, but someone has to watch the kids so I go alone.
I’m barely out of the house before I break down. I think of all the pressing problems in my life, and my inability to do anything about them.
My children are unreasonably needy, and I don’t always give them enough attention. Will doesn’t have enough paying work. The tightly-knit social circles of this town don’t include me. I weep and wish I had a friend who would say, “Hey, would you like to walk around the lake with me?”
(Don’t you know that I might not look smart, and I might be terribly busy with my herd of kids, but I would find it easy to love you if you would just give me a chance?)
I think of all the unfinished things in my life–the unfulfilled dreams and the perilous future of my foster child and the partly read Bible-books and the half-written blog posts.
The questions cut into my heart, “Am I going to make it? Is God going to provide?”
I walk through the uneven, cedar-lined trail by the lake, hearing the brown grass shivering and crying with me in the wind. I remember my friend’s words about her husband’s season of agony, and am unexplainably comforted. Maybe this is only a season, and maybe waiting on God really is agony.
Partway through the second lap around the trail, I sit down on a creaky bench and feel the gentle sunshine on my tear-stained face. I read Hebrews 12, and let the words soak into my soul.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)
I can’t stop thinking about it. Let us run with endurance; looking to Jesus, bearing the shame, enduring the cross. He is the founder and perfector of our faith. Let us run…
Let us run with patience.
Sometimes running is glorious, like a child flying over a green hill with the wind in her golden hair and laughter on her lips.
Other times running feels like a wounded soldier stumbling through the darkness in a knee-deep bog. Even then, as God’s children, we bravely wipe the tears off our faces and don’t give up. We run.
How is God testing your endurance today?
15 thoughts on “Let us run with patience”
Oh Rosina, I don’t know you well at all yet, but this post resonates so much with me.
And I love the Hebrews 12 verse. Dan has a favourite message he’s preached on this verse numerous times.
Just think of the crowd of witnesses who are cheering you on. The mud you are slogging in won’t be there forever. Sending love. I’d so gladly walk around the lake with you. Today I made myself get out for a short walk. My mud right now is HUGE snow piles that I know we likely won’t see the end of until May.
Luci, your comment about the cloud of witnesses cheering me on touched me. What a beautiful reality!
I would love to have you walk with me! We’ve had only one small rain since September, and one very light dusting of snow, so this is a good place to take many walks. ☺ Thank you for your sweet words!
Something that comforts me when I hear about pestilences and wars and rumors of wars and all the “trouble and sorra” of our little lives and of the world in general, is to remember that people keep surviving all of the stuff. Londoners survived the bombing in WWII. People survived the Black Plague. People survived living on the American frontier. Mamas and babies survive childbirth.
We just don’t die of loneliness or frustration or emotional pain. We keep going, because that’s what God made people to do. And we keep finding things to laugh about and getting bits of solace from daffodils popping up and emptying the dishwasher.
I think that’s what endurance is, plodding forward relentlessly, with as much joy and courage as we can find in our reservoirs or receive from God, and other times just doing the next thing with grim determination.
I have my little maxims too, and I like that one. I’m going to add it to my stash! Thank you!
Oh thank you Rosina! I loved your post! Your honesty captures my heart, I am there in prayer just now! May your sleep be restful and refreshing! Rosina you are beautiful! And in your persevering you will find rainbows, which will take your breath away. Yet the storm clouds do come! As you see them gathering may you hear the Shepherd promise, Lo I am with you even to the end of the world. He is with you in loneliness, He is with you when you are stretching the pennies, He is with you when the children are sweet and when they are not, He is with you when you are walking and Will is with the children. Thank you for looking to the Author, Jesus! What a beautiful closing testimony in your blog!
Peace and joy! Much love, Aunt Anna
Anna, thank you for your beautiful and encouraging words! You are an example of Jesus to me.
“like a wounded soldier stumbling thru the darkness in a knee deep bog”. Yes! That’s exactly how it feels; been there, done that. While going thru the deepest part of the bog, I got up to teach a men’s Sunday school class once upon a time when one of the verses in the lesson was, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” I told the class if I would do what I felt like doing, I would quote this verse and walk out. Someone told me later that they see me continue to put one boggy foot in front of the next and that tells them that I had some faith left after all. Hey, running isn’t just for the Olympics; personally I’m rooting for the ones running in the Wounded Soldier Mud Bog.
This comment made me smile. ☺ Thank you for understanding!
God has been speaking to me in various ways about my need for endurance and courage. I’m not sure if reading this while the breakfast dishes petrify on the table counts for endurance!:) But all is not lost, because I think maybe I now have the courage to get up and run another day. God bless you as you run.
May God give you courage, even as you do those dishes! 😉 He has not forgotten you.
Love you sis. You are so brave, beautiful and courageous! And hopefully one of these days I’ll get a day off and can come to ML to walk around that lake with you! Remember that time we kinda got mixed up and walked like eight miles on random trails around it, talking our heads off and taking silly selfies?! Good times! I hope to come soon. I miss you so much and wish we could live closer. But meanwhile, thanks for all your support and your beautiful courageous heart and writing! I love you!
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Rosina, it sounds like you may be experiencing some ‘winter of my soul’. It is still February and we’ve had a long, cold, cloudy winter. Maybe planting some seeds would help you to realize that spring is coming when your household can all go outside and the sun will shine again. You are a gardener both literally and spiritually. I love you.
Thank you for those kind words! Now that you mentioned it, I want to get out my seed catalogues and start dreaming!
I really loved this post and the way you expressed the running part of it… I can resonate with what you said about running like a child sometimes, but it also being like a wounded soldier stumbling through a bog. It’s also been encouraging for me to think about seasons and realize that just because I feel one way now doesn’t mean that it will be like that forever. Thanks you. I guess I’m not the only one who takes long walks or drives to try to sort things out. 🙂
I feel close to God in nature, and I’m glad to hear that you do, too. God be with you in whatever season you are facing!