I have been forced inside by the cold. 40 degree temperatures I can do. Even 30s with a breeze I can do. But when we are down in the 20s and the wind is blowing, I’m inside down in the basement on my treadmill. Not only do I have to physically walk the miles, but inside I also have to mentally walk the miles – conquering pain and the deep desire to simply quit. It is much more of a mental game than a physical one when I’m on the treadmill. It is very easy to just step off and declare that I’ve gone far enough. The phone rings – I step off. The dryer is finished – I step off. Or at least I want to.
The lessons I’m learning in this walking journey have been surprisingly profound for me; and they apply to my spiritual walk not just my physical walk. There have been times in my marriage that it would have been easy to just “step off”; walk away, file for divorce. I’m sure my husband would agree that he also would have found it easier to simply walk away. There have been times in my parenting that I wanted to just “step off”. But it isn’t that simple is it? I made a commitment before God to my husband, God blessed me with children who need me to stay on the path. We’ve surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ. We put in the effort, worked through the hard stuff, prayed for God’s grace and forgiveness and offered it to each other. We stayed on the path and God met us there. He blessed our efforts.
Every day I can choose to stay on the path – to get my walking miles in or to sit in front of my computer – to read and study God’s word and spend time with him or to watch tv – to invest time and emotional energy into my husband and our relationship or spend it all on others leaving nothing for him at the end of his long day. It is about commitment and little decisions every day to either honor those commitments or to indulge my flesh and selfish nature. When I develop blisters and when my legs and feet hurt so badly that I think they’ll buckle under me, it would be easy to say I’ve had enough and to walk away from my commitment. But instead, the next day I treat my blisters, allow them to heal, and lace up my boots for another walk. God is and has been faithful to meet me in the midst of my pain. He has taught me great lessons about perseverance, patience, taking small steps in the right direction, determination, bone-crushing honesty, and learning how to see joy and beauty in all of it.
I hope that you have a treadmill and that you will let God meet you there. He has much to show you.
Be encouraged. Press on for it is the Lord God who goes with you.