It’s Easter week, which for us is a big to do.
Not because of baskets overflowing with candy,
Not because of clean and pressed Polos,
And not because of make-believe bunnies--
But because of dozens upon dozens of people who will give their lives to Christ this weekend at church.
My husband is over production, which means late nights, early mornings, and limited communication for us, in the days leading up to #EasterAtFreedom.
I am so stinkin’ proud of my hard-working man.
But I’m not going to sit here and pretend it isn’t hard.
Single-mom days are arduous (props to all my single moms out there).
This week there is less routine, more bedtime tears, and not enough coffee or concealer to cover the ramifications.
Ministry is hard work.
Life is hard work.
But the vision is in front of us, and so we keep moving toward it.
So that people far from God can experience life in Christ.
We are excited and expectant, but not exempt from weakness.
Which is exactly where I found myself this morning.
I could tell, immediately, my emotions were trying to hitchhike to places I didn’t want to go. Mainly, frustration and self-pity.
But this time—I was ready. You see, I’m learning to recognize patterns in my life so that I can be prepared to defeat them.
Something God has repetitively spoken to me lately is, “Strengthen yourself.” And He has shown me something practical that has brought new light to it.
I don’t run anymore.
I went for a 3-mile run last week, even though I don’t run anymore. At least that’s what I say.
I do it about every couple of weeks, but nowhere near as often as I once did. Thanks to knee troubles, I can’t hit the road like I used to.
But here’s the interesting thing: I run further and faster now that I “don’t run” than when I ran 3+ times a week.
Why? A simple (but not easy) addition to my fitness routine: strength training.
When I started, there were days I could barely get out of bed the next morning or, ahem, use the toilet (#legday). A year later and most days I still wake up sore.
Because I’m pushing harder.
I’m growing stronger.
And now… I can go further.
Yes, endurance builds endurance, but strength builds it faster.
If I ran a mile on Monday I could probably run a little longer on Wednesday, and a little further on Friday. But I can go further faster when I concentrate my efforts on training certain muscle groups so that they are ready to show up for the fight.
I don’t know about you, but I want to run further in my journey with Christ.
I want to rise to the calling He has placed on my life. I want to face challenges head on, not pulling back, and giving into the voices of discouragement. I want to see Him do more than I could ever ask, imagine or think in my life.
But for that to happen, I have to strengthen myself in the Lord.
I cannot neglect my Bible, skip out on connecting with other believers, and never stop to listen to the Coach and expect to be in it for the long haul.
I gotta lift those weights.
I gotta drop those squats.
I gotta push through when I don’t feel like it.
I gotta have discipline.
I may have woken up feeling weak this morning, but I didn’t have to remain that way.
I had a choice: “call out” and let my feelings rule the day, or strengthen myself and get back on track. You may have woken up feeling weak this morning, but you don’t have to stay in that funk. You have a choice, too.
What race are you running right now? Maybe you’re in a sprint, or a full-fledged marathon.
I love what the Bible says in Isaiah 40:31,
“…those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
We’ve gotta trust in the Lord.
We’ve gotta tap into His promises and His ability.
We’ve gotta push our roots down deep into Him when we feel like it, and when we don’t.
Then we will be strengthened and we can run, with perseverance, the race laid out for us (Hebrews 12:1), toward the vision ahead.
I don’t know about you, but I’m lifting weights this morning.
I’m spending extra time in the Word; blasting worship music that fixes my thoughts on Him; and listening to messages that remind me who I am--
I am more than a conqueror.
I'm not going to tap out.
I'm not going to back down.
I am strong in Him.
Whatever race lies before you right now, strengthen yourself.
Tuck His truth away deep within.
Press into His promises.
Accept His advice.
And don’t quit.
Dwelling in Him,
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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