I set out on my run tonight. Full of joy from this weekend; a wonderful time spent with family. Heavy already from the load of the week. and the laundry. and the groceries. and the sleep deprivation. and it's only Tuesday! My legs resist. I make it a mile and a half and walk. Just two weeks ago, I ran a half marathon. I am amazed by the power of the mind over the body. I told myself I was going to keep running no matter what. and I did. and it was so hard. I wanted to cry, but I kept going. I kept running. I couldn't breathe, so I forced myself to stop crying. I suppressed my emotions and focused all energy into continuing that long gruesome trek to the finish. and I finished.
But tonight, I don't have it in me. or, I'll say, I've decided to allow my mind to ease up on the body. to give up. to give in. to give over to emotions. I rest. and I cry. I notice the beautiful purple orange sky; the swirls of puffy white dancing between scarves of pink and I lift up my eyes. I breathe in His glory. The question arises. The same question David asked long ago, "From where shall my help come?"
I am so tired, Lord. I am so tired. I am always running. Running everywhere. Where is my rest? I just want to stop sometimes and catch a breath. I question my strength. I question my stamina. I need help.
My help comes from the Lord.
I am reminded of the story of King Asa in 2 Chronicles. When he looked out over the valley and saw enemies drawing together in battle formation. "Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, "Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord, You are our God, for we trust in you, and in Your name have come against this multitude." (2 Chronicles 14:11)
...the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength... There is NO ONE besides YOU to help.....
This is me tonight. So many seemingly powerful forces pressing in on a woman who feels she has no strength. Not even enough strength to complete a run. Not even enough to complete a walk, for I have stopped and now sit. Then again, rest is good. Rest is remembrance. I need to stop and remember I am HIS daughter.
My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
You need no sleep Lord, so I may rest. You stay awake and alert, guarding your daughter. You and you alone are my HELP; my help in ALL things. I can rest because you fight for me in the battle between all of those powerful forces and my weary state. You strengthen me.
I glance to my right and gasp in awe. My path brings me to an open space among trees. Fireflies sprinkle illuminated glitter low above the grass. Is it already time for them? Who knows how they know. How they know it's warm enough. How they know when to bring the light into darkness. Perhaps they are always there, glowing in and out, and only when our day darkens are we able to see this gift.
Hmm. I smile. A tear pools. As the blinking yellow glow of fireflies whisper "summer's coming...summer's coming....", my Heavenly Father reminds me my help isn't just on the way. It's always been here. Sometimes, I haven't seen it. Sometimes, I've had to go looking for it. Sometimes, I've had to wait for it. And sometimes, I've been surprised to find it glowing in breathtaking beauty in the midst of darkness. And it has taken my breath away.
My help comes from the Lord.