Run and Don’t Quit

We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. – (Hebrews 12:1, ERV)

In my world, running so often parallels lessons of faith. I can run on my own, yet I discourage more easily and grow weary and want to quit. However, when I run with great people around me, their faithfulness to finish inspires me to run without ceasing, and challenges me to be better than I was before. Often our conversations become a dumping ground for the things that hinder our hearts from moving forward, and set us free to move forward as we were intended to run. As we run together, we look out for one another, warning of dangers on sidewalks, in the roads, and even of crazy drivers coming our way. Our inspiration and encouragement is built in, when we are invested well in a community with a common goal.

Fortunately for me, most of my best running buddies are also dear friends with a shared and committed faith. I have the double blessing of sharing both a similar running philosophy and the same core values that drive our lives. God uses us to speak life into one another, and to encourage each other to keep “running“, even when life is hard. Investing in a faith community is a necessity to run our race well. Great examples give us hope and inspiration to keep moving, even when we want to quit. Additionally, when we are connected, we are accountable to others, and allow them to speak truth, leaving room to remove anything that would slow us down, and the sin that causes us to stumble and fall. May we each find a faith community in which we can fully invest, so that we can run the race before us and never quit, with others beside us to challenge and encourage us along the way.

We need not look far,Run and Do Not Quit

to find faithful few;

for the consistent,

allow love shine through.

Ever they’re seeking,

to honor and serve;

to love as Christ loves,

not as is deserved.

For good company,

helps us each to grow;

to run our race well,

so His light will show.

Invest in others,

as we’re called to do;

sisters and brothers,

His love makes us new.

When we are equipped,

we’ll run our race well;

strong to the finish,

as truth our lives tell.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the great people that You have placed around us as examples in our lives. Thank You that You show us what faith means. Thank You that You equip us to run the race that is set before us without quitting, as You bring beside us, others to encourage and challenge us to do as You call us to do. Forgive us for holding the things that slow us down or cause us to stumble. Set us free from sin. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You first, then trust You to place us in the appropriate community that challenges and cares for us well. Show us how to contribute to the growth and greatness of others. Lead us to love as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we run the race You have set before us without quitting; removing all that slows us down and every sin that causes us to stumble. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things.  Who, O God, is like You? – Psalm 71:19

The Plans of the Lord

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” – (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

 

Jesus has a plan for each of our lives. His plans are good. Ultimately, His plans are to pull us up out of the muck, and place our feet on solid ground. As we are moved, He grants us hope for today and promise for our forever. Seeing Christ’s faithfulness compels us to call on Him and commune with Him. In doing so, He hears our prayers. With hope rising in our hearts, we come to a place of knowing our own need for Him. He assures us that as we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. More than that, He will bring us back from the places where we have previously been stuck. Captivity is not always a physical imprisonment; as we are so often captive to our own sin and selfishness. Jesus alone sets us free from all that hinders us from moving forward with Him. May we seek You and find You as we seek You with all that we are.

 

The plans of the Lord,His Mighty Power

are hopeful and good;

no intent to harm,

His love understood.

As we call on Him,

He listens and hears;

each of our heart’s cries,

He sees all our tears.

A future He holds,

for all those who seek;

Him with their whole heart,

His blessings released.

Freed from our prisons,

that keep us from Him;

hope in Christ the key,

ushers new life in.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have plans to prosper us and not to harm us. thank You that Your plans grant hope and a future with You. Thank You that as we call on You and pray to You, You hear our prayers. Thank You that when we seek You with our whole heart, we find You. Thank You that You set us free from that which keeps us captive. Forgive us for not seeking with our whole heart, or for not calling on You in all things and at all times. Teach us to trust You completely, so that our first response is to seek You alone. Lead us to live and love in the hope You have provided, and help many come to know the very same hope found in You alone, for themselves. Be exalted, O God, as we seek You and Your plans for our lives. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. – Proverbs 11:25