Yesterday is the first time since we all began this journey in January/Early February that I have had a pain that worries me. My left ankle is hurting and it didn’t start until 3 hours after my exercising, when I took my shoes off. BUT, there is joy in my suffering. As much as I wanted to sleep in with the cloudy gray sky above, my little family made it to church, and here was some of the message. We are beginning a study of Philippians and it is known as the epistle of Joy. As my pastor referred to some Old and New Testament scriptures, I thought of our RBL Journey.
1st Scripture; Psalm 16:11 “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” God has given us this great PATH to join and walk/run together. He is with us on the journey, and therefore fills us with joy (even when we feel we cannot go on).
2nd Scripture; James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” How many of us have not experienced some kind of trial in this journey? Muscle strain, stress fractures, knee pains, flu, allergies, sadness and sorrow within our family, etc… trials are going to happen, and it is those trials that bring us back to God. As I hit the hardest moment on my runs, it is when I would begin praying for God’s strength. On my easiest runs, is when I remember to pray as I begin in my warm up.
3rd Scripture; Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter or eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,” As another RBL blogger posted recently, Pray, pray, pray… God is with us. Not that we should ignore what we eat and drink, but more of doing so in a righteous and joyous nature to God. I was joyful when I ate my serving of Lasagna last night 🙂 Not because it was lasagna, YUM, but because I knew it was the sustenance I needed at that moment. Food tastes better when I am more thoughtful in my choices and making those choices to honor God and not myself. I am not dieting, I am not exercising, I am doing what I should be doing and do it joyfully to take care of the life given to me.
Last scripture Galatians 5:22; “But the fruit of the Spirit is… joy…” Whether literally or metaphorically, is it not true? Naturally sweet to our taste buds and we crave more. As we reach more milestones in our walk, everything tastes sweeter and is more enjoyable. We are more “huggable”, “energized”, “healthy”, what ever you want to finish this sentence with, it makes it more personal to you.
I love that this journey is not about just losing weight or inches, but more about making a permanent change to our lifestyles and seeing the impact it makes overall. That brings me joy!