Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Really Running With Jesus!

Good morning, friends!  Welcome to the table!  Pull up a chair and sit for a while.  If you have just come in from a run, grab a glass of water.  If you are just waking up (like me!), sit with a cup of coffee!  I am honored to have my friend Joanna share her heart and her love for Jesus today.  And to encourage you in  your daily quiet time with the Lord in His Word, I will be giving away a copy of one of my favorite devotionals!  Just leave a comment for Joanna and you will be entered to win!  ~ Sharon

"...train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, 
but godliness has value for all things, 
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."
1 Timothy 4:7-8

I LOVE RUNNING!  Sometimes I don’t always enjoy the process, but I love the days when I feel like I can run for miles and miles.  

I recently did a long run with my favorite running buddy, Mindy.  That particular day we were scheduled to run 13 miles and we had chosen to run along the Delaware Canal tow path.  The first miles were great.  We chatted as we ran along talking about our families and movies we had recently seen.  

After completing 8 miles, we headed to the car for a quick drink.  As we went back out for the last 5 miles, we were feeling pretty good…and then it hit. My legs started cramping and I felt like I was running through wet cement.  Mindy was feeling the same way and we both slowed down quite a bit.  We barely made it the last two miles.  By the time my watch beeped 13 miles, I felt light headed and nauseous and had to sit down for a few minutes.  

As we sat on the step of a local store, gulping PowerAde’s, I begin thinking over what went wrong.  I knew our problem wasn’t lack of preparation – we had diligently been following a training plan for the past 6 weeks – our problem was fuel.  You see, we should have known better than to try to run for that long with only a few sips of water.  In fact, we do know better.  Every athlete knows they need frequent hydration and nutrition.

Sometimes my relationship with Jesus can be just like that run.  I am going along just fine, following my training plan – reading my Bible, doing my daily devotions – but in truth, I am not spending quality time alone with God.  Yes, I am reading my Bible, but am I truly allowing His Word to sink in?  Or instead do I just say a quick prayer – like those few sips of water – and try to go on my way?  When I rush through my prayer and devotions, I am not refueling my relationship with Jesus.  I am just crossing one more item off of my busy ‘to do’ list.

“Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still.” Psalm 4:4

Am I taking the time to be still and listen to God’s quiet voice?

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
I love the NIV translation of that verse.
“Cease striving and know that I am God.”

‘Cease striving’ as I am running along, logging the miles in my busy life, do I ever cease striving long enough to be filled by him?
So what did I take away from that grueling run?  I discovered that as much as I need to take in frequent, proper hydration when running, more importantly, I need to take in frequent “hydration” in my relationship with Jesus Christ.

Quiet time alone with God is a necessity.  

Frequent, heartfelt prayer is not an option.

Dear Lord, as we ‘run’ through this life, let us never forget to spend precious time with You each day.  May we take time morning, noon, and night to dwell in Your presence.  Help us to remember we are never too busy, there are no items on our ‘to do’ lists, more important than spending time with You.  Amen.

© 2012 by Joanna Lieberman. All rights reserved. 

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ.  This is the true God and eternal life.  Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”  I John 5:20-21

Leave a comment!  I will be giving away one of these:



Maria said...

This is so timely! I just had this same conversation with my daughter,Taina. She is so faithful in reading God's Word every morning before starting her day, but she is also very task oriented by nature, so it's become exactly what you said "a check, off her list". I'm soooo happy that the Bible is the first thing on her to-do-list, at the same time I desire her to meet with God too during that sweet time, but it's not an easy thing to teach a 9 year I'm committing to praying each morning before she wakes for the Lord to meet with "HER".
Can't wait to read her your devotion...thank you!!!

Laurie said...

As a runner and mom of four, this really struck a chord with me. So often , my day revolves around my to do checklist. My time w Jesus is more precious than that. Thank you for the reminder.

Chicky White said...

Thank you for this devotional. My Pastor has just finished a series called From Burn Out to Balance with titles like Lighten your Load, Re-energize, and Simplify Your Life. We need to learn we can not do life alone we need to take up Christ's yoke, like Elijah take food water and rest, and put margins in our time schedule, prunning our activities periodically ( even some good things need to go)

Cynda Cottrill said...

Thank you for reminding me to give my mind fully to what I am doing, especially when reading God's Word and seeking His Will. Often it is hard to concentrate, to be still & really listen, especially when we allow the concerns of this world drown out His stil small voice.

The Garden Within- A Journey to Wholeness said...

This is so good! A friend and I just talked about this yesterday! Now that I am on here, I have been trying to find the Isaiah by the day devotional you always write about and cannot find it.... Is that in this devotional you are giving away? Thanks, and your blog and facebook entries bless me!

Anonymous said...

I love this, thanks so much for sharing. I try to make it on a few sips here and there when I need to drink Him in. Loved the reminder that He alone is my source and my strength.


JanefromSC said...

This is a great reminder. Some 3 years ago I began reading the Word every morning before I start my day at work. It is quiet, I get here before others and have the best time with God. His Word is so timely for me. Every day I read something new that pertains to what I am facing or will be facing. I also love to have a devotion to read and this would be wonderful to have to include in my time with God

Leslie said...

What a great reminder! One of the best mornings I had recently was when I set aside my devotionals and just spent time talking with the Lord. It was so refreshing.

kim johnston said...

Wow, Me and my friend were just discussing this yesterday. We were talking about the song " Sweet hour of prayer" When was the last time we spent an hour with God, she said? It got me to thinking, maybe we would hear from God more if we actually spent enough time and quieted our busy minds and slowed down long enough to hear him. I have to admit that sometimes we do all the talking, when we need to be listening. Thank you for this devotion, as it is very timely and Coming from the Lord:)

Heather said...

What a great and timely post! Especially as I prepare to return to the school is easier to spend that deep, meaningful time in th summer and so much harder when schedules loom! Thank you Joanna for this reminder of how purposefuk we need to be in allowing God's Word to penetrate and infiltrate our hearts, not just lay upon them! Keep running (and writing!).

Anonymous said...

This was such a great analogy for anyone but as a runner, this really hits home. I know these things you have described physically and spiritually! Great writing and reminding! Thank you!
I hope to have an opportunity to read more of your writing!
Blessings--jennifer wood :)