“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
I had a total knee replacement surgery on August 1st. The procedure went very well. The Lord blessed me with a gifted and talented surgeon; surrounded me with wonderful care and encouragement from the hospital staff; and provided me with loving and praying family and friends. My precious husband, I have received loving care and constant encouragement. I am beyond blessed. Thank You, Jesus!
In spite of the soreness and the swelling, I can indeed feel my strength being renewed, day by day, even moment by moment. And I am exceedingly grateful.
I have always loved sports – was in fact a “tomboy” growing up. My mom would often find me wrestling with a 10-year old boy or tossing the football around with the guys, as opposed to playing dress up and having tea parties! My favorite sports were basketball and field hockey. I loved running, working hard and competing even as a young girl. There were no organized girls’ sports teams “back in the day” so it was my goal to shine in PE!!!!!! So how delighted I was, at the age of 50, to have the opportunity to learn to play tennis. It was love at first sight. Running the ball down, looking for that winning shot, ready to smash an overhead into an empty space on my opponent’s side. So……I know what it is to put on my “game face” and to “mount up with wings like eagles” and” to run and not be weary”; to be determined to succeed and to not give up. To always be pushing toward victory – mentally accompanied by a mighty marching band and a stadium rocking with cheers of encouragement. That is just my personality! So, as I perform my physical therapy exercises, I say “Here we go, Lord; we can do this; defeat is not an option”. It’s all about pushing forward, through the pain and fatigue and ending up on top of the mountain, arms raised in triumph.
However, “to walk and not faint” is a totally different scenario. It is, to my mind, relatively easy for us to grit our teeth, gather every ounce of energy, and push through whatever necessary – to get to that mountaintop and to lift our arms in celebration. Mountaintop challenges cause us to press on, to struggle, and to emerge triumphant. During the times of preparation for a huge task or calling, we often are surrounded by cheering and supportive family and friends – who often put their lives temporarily on hold to help us arrive successfully on the summit.
“To walk and not faint” is to go through a day without fanfare and sideline cheerleaders. It is to move forward, one step at a time, to complete one task and to move on to the next – no airhorns, no applause. It is what some would call the drudgery of the ordinary day. That doesn’t sound like something most of us would rush to sign up for. “Oh, goody, an ordinary day with ordinary tasks, nothing spectacular showing up to break the monotony. Bring it on.”!!!!!
And yet, for those of us who are followers of Christ, no day is ever an ordinary day! How could any of us who walk hand in hand and step by step with the Creator of the universe – ever call any day an ordinary day??!?
True, the “to do list” of an ordinary day might not send us into a frenzied burst of energy. Let’s see – during a current ordinary day, my “walking and not fainting” agenda is:
Take meds; Drink tons of water; Take the pain pill (followed by drink that prune juice (: ; Do straightening and bending the knee exercises; practice walking with my new knee; do whatever household chores I can do to help my husband; Thank him profusely throughout the day for his love and care; immerse myself in the Word of God; be thankful; be joyful; repeat often to myself to be brave and courageous!
“To walk and not faint”, to me, means living a life of joyful obedience – looking for God in each task. He renews my strength as I trust in Him. He gives me an overcoming life as I overcome. When challenges and setbacks come (and they will), I must remember to keep my eyes on Him and not on the stormy seas.
To me, there is something extra-special found in the small victories experienced through walking and not fainting. They remind me that Almighty God is always with me, whether taking on the challenge of leading a weekend retreat or pressing onward through pain and discomfort in physical therapy. It is my goal, deep within my soul, to know that at the end of the day, I have given God my very best, mentally, physically and spiritually.
I Corinthians 9:24 – “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one received the prize? So run, that you may obtain it.”