I LOVE flying. I don't know what it is about it, but I love it. Normally I sit on an isle seat so that Zoe and I have a little wiggle room, but this time I had a window seat (because it was close to the front and had an empty seat next to it…can't beat that!) Well, it was such a God thing because I stared out the window almost the whole flight in awe of the beauty of the skies and the earth and the heavens from that perspective.
Even going through the layers of clouds and turbulence somehow was showing my soul in those hours a different way to look at life…. a view at 30 thousand feet. It's like the clouds were ready to consume us and looked as though they would once we touched them… and yes, we could feel the gusts and the pushing on the plane as it flew through them… but the clouds didn't consume the plane… they were just clouds…fluffy dark water saturated air. And we went right through them…. we had to in order to get above them.
Once above them… we were able to see the fading sun vividly and see the beautiful rays of color it produced. The clouds who moments ago were ugly threats only adding to that beauty now when laid at the feet of the heavens and touched by the sun.
Then the stars began to pop out and perfectly in place shone and displayed God's HUGENESS and greatness. I needed to feel that. I needed to be reminded of the bigness of God. Somewhere between the little tiny dots of cars and street lights to the thousands of stars He placed in that clear sky I cried out to a very big God and told Him that I didn't understand and couldn't even wrap my head around the fact that He could hear much less care deeply about 1 insignificant person… but that I was choosing to trust that He could and does. So, I talked with Him and just told him my fears and hurts and struggles and visions and desires. It was so very sweet.
Then I felt it…. as we started our decent into the DFW area. I could start to make out the streets and city lights, we passed through those rough looking clouds again and let them hover over us threatening…. I felt the jolt of pavement as we landed and what was once a minuscule dot on the vast earth was now my whole world as I walked through and got my luggage and kissed my husband and loaded the car, fretted over traffic, huge shopping centers passed me by promising happiness and a new look, restaurant signs wanting to fill my hungry tummy, and an apartment that will be all disorganized and need cleaning by the end of today.
Traveling. Life. Babies. Family. Relationships. Sex. Work. Expectations. Schedules. Goals. Holidays. Church. Cleaning. Computers. ….. just a few of the things that demand energy from me in day to day life. I would have added my walk with God to that list but that's honestly the one thing that keeps all those other things from consuming me, destroying me and from being the ultimate in my life. I also would have added Sin to that list too, but sin effects them all. It desires that each of those things, all of them if it takes that, would consume and destroy me and promise to be the ultimate. That's the rub…. Walk with God and Sin.
But I'm so glad that only the former is eternal. Sin along with all the other things in that demanding list of things I so easily cling to will not exist one day. Only the Joy unspeakable that comes with a relationship…. a totally undeserved relationship with Christ will remain. And that is worth living out all these other things and fighting for an eternal perspective on those things.
While I'm grateful for the moments God gives me in the air… the reminders of His greatness… the new perspectives, I have to know that He's the same Big God down here in the mud and muck and while the clouds loom overhead. (Now, I'm know I'm sounding depressing and I know life is filled with joys and delights… I have only to look at the many blog posts I have highlighting those, but today…. in my heart right now, Life is hard… it's mud and muck… it's cloudy and threatening.)
A friend wrote this today after she ran a 5K yesterday and I needed this back down to earth reminder that we don't live at 30 thousand feet… above the clouds… unhindered sun and stars view… We live here in the midst of so many things and threats and struggles. But that's the way God intended it to be. One foot in front of the other…..
(this is what really encouraged and hit home for me today…thanks for putting this down onto words Steph)
of which, about that 5k.
usually run 2-3 miles and it's no biggie. So either I have measured the mileage
wrong in the past OR the 95 degree humidity was kicking my butt. To prove to
you how difficult I thought it was, I thought I was coming up on the end and as
I approached I saw it said
MILE"…..DONE!! Not to finish.
I was only 1/3 the way through and I began to think, "this may get
tough." THEN we hit the VERY long stretch of shadeless, scorching, sun as
we pounded the brand new black asphalt. It was HOT! And I was TIRED! And I
wasn't done yet. Not even close.
is so much like life. This is so much like today. And I am so glad God lead me
to run that race on that day. The day before Sheph's bronch.
I was helped to remember this…
is a race. And God urges us to RUN it and not just to RUN it but to go with
endurance. That's the hard part.
get surprised when the run gets hard. What happened to the leisurely jaunt
through the park? Where is the breeze?
tell you I was surprised. I was thinking with each step. THIS. step. SUCKS.
step. I. step. WANNA. step. QUIT. step.
lot like life. But God is not surprised that life can be hard.
fact in books like Peter it implies we should assume life will be difficult.
Not all of it, hopefully. Though I must mention that for a LARGE portion of the
world, life truly began as a mission of survival and will be that way till
death. There are so many who face starvation, disease, war, trauma, and others
things that are unthinkable.
I'm not trying to be morbid, just realistic. Just because you may not think
life can be hard doesn't mean it won't be someday or that it isn't for most
others. Again, I am not trying to depress you, just to help you be equipped to
face life truthfully.
you do venture to take such a risk, watch out.
you'll need a pretty big God to face it with you and come out hopeful. And
you'll find out real quick whether the God you serve is the limitless God of
the bible or a puny idol you have created out of your imagination and
experiences, then slapped a GOD sticker on.
I ran and ran and ran and most of the time I wanted to give up. Here is where
you think, "man those marathons can be hard….oh wait, that's right it is
it took all of me. And as I ran in the scorching heat, feet pounding the
pavement, feeling as though I may never actually see the finish line, much less
run to it, I kept thinking about one thing.
kept thinking about my life…and the finish line. My life….and the heat. My
life…and the hard pavement. My life…and how the breeze would blow when
least expected, giving me a refreshing boost to keep going. My life…and the
shade tree that would seem to pop up just in time to give me a break. My
life… and the gracious folks holding a drink for me to grab like a spring in
was all so much like the Christian life. There were times I really enjoyed the
run. There was some shade, there was water, but there was much of it that was
pure pain. And I had to ENDURE to finish well.
Hebrews 12, God asks this of us. He not only promises his son, Jesus, to make
it possible if we set our eyes on Him, but he also reminds us that Jesus, God
himself, ran the very same race-actually worse.
ran the Marathon. And I struggle to run the 5K. And he promises He has been
there and will run this one with me.
I am filled with hope. Because as I ran, every ounce of me longed for the
finish line and the rest that awaited me beyond it.
I put one foot in front of the other, all I could think about was what it would
be like at the end of my life to cross the finish line and fall into the arms
know it truly was finished. That all that I loved in life would be perfected.
And all that was broken would be eternally fixed. And I would behold the face
of Jesus forever.
a finish line. That will truly be worth the run.