I didn’t want to run today. I never do. It’s hard.
Weight control and general physical wellness benefit from running – so I run. Today was no exception; I didn’t want to run. Blessings followed obedience.
First, I met an 88-year-old neighbor who had suffered a stroke. Immediately following the stroke, he wobbled when he walked. Post-stroke challenges were hard. Determined to recover, he set up his own physical therapy regimen – golf. Now he strides along with confidence. Using partly speech and partly sign language, he informed me today that he and his 87-year-old friend play 18 holes four days a week. It was cold and blustery today – but he looked as brightly happy as a spring daffodil.
Then I met a stranger pushing her dad along in his wheelchair and taking their dog on a walk. We stopped and exchanged greetings. As I ran on down the road I reflected on how good and kind people can be. The news is full of bad-sad stories including the threat of war in the Ukraine, child and homeless abuse; alcohol and drug addiction; crooked politics, and violent crimes. Yet, because God’s Spirit is stronger on behalf of good than satan’s is on evil, people reflect God’s mercy and grace.
My most inspirational running discovery was The Trees. Surely had The Trees been given a choice of where they wanted to be planted, they would not have chosen the rocky soil on the side of Moray Firth that is buffeted nonstop by wind and gales. Because the wind has rocked them over the years, The Trees have sent their roots down into the soil so deeply that they can absorb water and nutrients. Needles on The Trees are glossy green with vibrant health. The trunks are solid, twisted into artistic compositions that shout victory over hardship. The Trees have endured hardships.
Hardships are often God’s blessings in disguise. Psalm 119:67 says, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.”
Some people think I’ve had a had a hard life: sexually abused as a child; nearly dying from two forced non-medically supervised abortions as a teen; running away from home and living under a bridge to escape abuse; being a single-parent and working two to three jobs at the same time; losing a husband to cancer; having my home and property stolen; and most heartbreaking – losing my awesome son, 37, in a plane crash. Yet God has used those trials to shake my roots – like The Trees – and grow me into His pattern, able to face the gales unafraid because I know God is in Control.
Childhood fears and memories inspired my newest Christian mystery-romance-suspense, Fear of Shadows. Sexual abuse and forced abortions inspired pro-life adventure-romance Love’s Beating Heart, which readers have called “inspirational” and “life-changing.”
Between now and March 8, Smashwords is offering both Fear of Shadows and Love’s Beating Heart – FREE.
No one owns a monopoly on hardship. Life is challenging. When hardship knocks, remember that trials are often God’s blessings in disguise – and open the door.
Love’s Beating Heart: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/307104
Fear of Shadows: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/387341