Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Run, Forest, Run!

Let me just clear the air before I share these Tuesday morning thoughts, that most of you (my college Bible study girls) could run/work out in circles around me - making me feel not only old but out of shape - so no, this is not a lecture in healthy living! Your dedication to caring for the bodies God gave you is inspirational to me. Let's not even talk about the huffing and puffing involved in my first spin "class" given by one of my college girls...that's another story for another time!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily strangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)

Photo credit: www.runwomenshoes.com
It is the first day of the new college semester. What promise this holds for you - God's missionaries on campus! But alongside that promise, my heart writhes in pain with the fear of what you, His precious disciples are about to face. There is spiritual warfare being fought in our world. Simply look around, turn on the news, check your social media feed or examine your own life, and you will feel it. Taste it. Hear it. See it. Loud, clear and pungent, Satan is waging war on God's children. And he has a stronghold on campus life. Even in the short time God's turned this blog in this new direction, I've very clearly poured out the heart I have for the college women I am blessed to minister to. I often try to express to them emotionally how I am old enough to have hindsight perspective, yet young enough to still taste the temptation, pain and struggles they deal with daily. And guess what? It doesn't go away upon graduation. While the battlefield may change, the war wages on.

Set your eyes on Jesus. As though you would focus intently on the finish line of a race; fix your gaze on Him. He has laid the path out for us, but oh how our hearts want to chase other things. What are you chasing after? Perfect grades (guilty)? A friend or boyfriend's approval (guilty)? Social status or popularity because of the brand you're wearing or the car you drive (guilty)? A different body shape or size (guilty)? We are all chasing something. And while we're chasing after the next shiny thing that passes by, God is relentlessly pursuing us. So let's stop running from Him and run to Him. Let's stop running the path we've laid out for ourselves, and instead run the path He's set before us. As I read through this scripture from Hebrews 12:1, I keep picturing the scene in "Forest Gump" when Forest, as a little boy, starts to run and his leg braces fly off.
As you start a new semester, my prayer is that each of you finds the power of the Holy Spirit God has placed inside of you to run the race He's set before you. He will run with you. He is present with us always. My prayer is that in spite of what's chasing you, threatening to catch up to you and run you down (be it stress, pressure, tests, homework, etc.), distracting you from the race...in spite of all that spiritual warfare, that you would hear His voice calling out to you. Just like Forest heard sweet Jenny from behind him yelling, "Run, Forest, run!" May you look up and hear clearly your Heavenly Father's voice calling, "Run, my child, run." All my love and His. xo

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