Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I was driving home to Lynchburg this past weekend and at one point along 460 I was struck with the beauty of my surroundings. I almost pulled over to the side just to gaze at the sky and spend some time worshiping my Savior and looking back, I probably should have, because that moment was quickly replaced with this strange feeling of longing.

Longing for enough money to pay off school debt. Longing for a husband. Longing for a change in my normal routine. Longing for less heartache.

The funny thing is, as I imagined each of those things being fulfilled (you know, the way you do when YOU try to figure out how to solve life’s problems on your own), I was somewhat satisfied in knowing that even if those desires were filled, there would be others. I realized that my longings all pointed to one true longing: a longing for heaven. A longing to be reunited with my Lord. A longing for righteousness. Please don’t get me wrong- I don’t mean that I want to die. I just realize that as long as I am in this body, I will continue to have longings that cannot be filled. I will pay off my school debt one day. I do plan to get married one day. But even as I mark these items off one-by-one, more will be added. Desires are not necessarily bad, unless they are distracting us from our relationship with the Lord.

Now, some hold to this ridiculous notion that as Christians, we can ask God for whatever we want and it will be ours. I have heard Psalm 37:4 misinterpreted often. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Does this mean that I simply need to claim I am a Christian, maybe even go to church and read my Bible, and then He is required to give me anything I ask? Not at all! For when you are truly delighting in the Lord, you realize that your longings change. They become more focused on the things of God.

In Psalm 74:25, the writer says “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire but you.” How often can we claim this same thing? Earth has NOTHING I desire but Christ. Then there is the well-known passage in Philippians that states:

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead. (3:7-11).

Is our desire for God so strong that we consider everything else in life rubbish? Is knowing Christ Jesus the greatest joy in our lives? If so, are we spending time getting to know him personally by reading Scripture, not out of guilt, but out of a sincere longing for intimacy with Christ?

Do we grasp the magnitude of knowing that once Christ returns, we will also be revealed with him in glory (Colossians 3:4)? Do we set our minds on the things above, rather than the things of earth (Colossians 3:2)? We so often waste precious time worrying about things of no eternal importance, when we really need to become consumed with a desire for the kingdom of heaven.

C.S. Lewis penned one of my favorite quotes: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that I was made for another world” (Mere Christianity). If you find yourself longing for things that you have no control over, ask God to make your desires congruent with His. If you delight in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Running Through Hail

Yesterday was our last chance to run only 3 miles.. until the two weeks before our race! Since we are constantly looking for new places to run in the area, we decided to run along Leesville Rd. initially. When we stepped out of the school, however, it started just barely drizzling. No longer had we gotten into the car, the skies opened up and began dropping these monster-sized rain drops. Perhaps the normal person would thank God and say something like, "well, we attempted to go run, but the weather just won't permit!" Or so you would think. Instead, we still drove to Leesville.

When we arrived, we decided that running along Leesville may not be a good idea, because it seemed as though the storm was moving in that direction. Instead, we modified our plans and ran in the opposite direction of Leesville and through a residential neighborhood. The rain was still coming down pretty steadily, but as we began running, it just stopped. It was a little eerie. All of the sudden, something hit me hard on the arm. Before I could react, something else hard hit me in the head. Then it kept coming. Hail. Lots and lots of hail shooting at us as though from a bb gun. Except in this case there would have been about 500 bb guns shooting at each of us at one time. It was quite painful. Fortunately, the gas station where we started was not far away, so we ran to the edge of the building and stood for a minute under the covering just laughing. It was so random, and cool, that we couldn't help but laugh. Then we sought shelter inside the gas station along with others. The parking lot of the gas station was literally covered in marble-sized hail in about a minute. It looked like winter again.

The hail storm only lasted for about 4 or 5 minutes, then it melted in about another minute, because it was so warm. So, we took off for our run finally! I only regret that I did not have my camera with me. Typically, I run with my phone so I can also listen to music, but because of the rain, I was afraid it would get too wet.

As for my running accomplishments recently, I have had some good runs and some bad runs. I prefer not to focus on the bad ones. There are days when running a mile is pure torture. On the other hand, there are days when I could keep running far beyond our goal for the day. One such example is Saturday. I talked David into going at 7:30 (my mom and sister were in and I wanted to get back early to spend the day with them... and attend the Reba concert, which was so much fun!!!). We ran out by his house. I had Kim Walker playing on my Iphone, the sun was setting just above the hills, it was cool outside, and we had some of the most spectacular views of the rolling green hills with grazing cattle. We finished 6 straight miles, without walking, and I truly felt as though I could have ran 20 more miles. I was just running along, actually singing aloud to my music, and praising the Lord! It was a beautiful way to start a Saturday morning! One more accomplishment, the Monday previous I was able to complete 3 miles in 29.5 minutes! To some of you, that may seem like a really slow pace. For me, this was the first time I have completed 3 miles in under 10 minutes each!

Only 20 more weeks until the half marathon!