God + Running = Spiritual Revelation.
Sweat on the small of my back, breath falling into rhythm, shoes pounding the pavement- God always shows up when I go for a run. He tells me stories of His love, reminds me of His presence, and often calls me to obedience in seemingly kooky ways.
My last run was no exception.
I ran my normal path, ears void of headphones. I knew He wanted to tell me something. I could sense the urgency in my heart to “listen” so music would only feel like noise. At the fork in the path, He guided me towards a familiar bridge. I felt a pull to discover what lay beneath the steel structure. An area on the bank of the creek caught my eye and I slowly worked my way over slippery rocks to reach it. My shoes slid on muddy walls as I grasped large roots protruding from the fallen trees that cross-hatched the creek. Satisfied I made the trek without falling in the water, I stood taking in the scenery.
“What now, God?”
“Take home a rock for Tristan.”
Interesting, but not out of my realm of thinking. My son loves rocks, so I was game! My eyes scanned the ground, scouring the small rocks littering the mud just below the water. Nothing outstanding or out-of-the-ordinary. As I looked further down the creek bed, I saw a much larger rock.
“That one, Erica.”
That thing is huge! Seriously? There is no way I can run back with that in my hand!! Surely I can just pick one of these little ones right here…
“That one, Erica.”
Fine, God. Fine. You know I’m gonna look like a lunatic running down the path, right? Wait, I mean WALKING, because there is no way I can RUN with a boulder in my hand!
Silly rock. This better be worth it!
Obedient, but a little irritated God had just put the kibosh on my workout, I climbed out of the creek bed. Then it hit me-
“This rock isn’t for Tristan, is it God?”
I knew it was for me.
The spiritual awakening I am currently experiencing in my faith was represented in that rock-
Impossible to hide
Bigger than I think I can handle.
This new faith is too big to hide from others. My prayers are louder, my passion more abundant, my influence from the world around me quickly lessening. The words He gives me to teach get jumbled and I cry uncontrollably telling stories of what He has done. I stand out from the crowd as I drop to my face in worship or arms lifted in surrender. I sweat buckets when praying healing over a friend and I can no longer hold my tongue when God reveals a truth. There is nothing “pretty” about this BIG. This BIG is overwhelming.
But He is showing me His provision in it all.
I stood with the rock in my hand as He asked me to to run. As I picked up the pace, He showed me I could indeed run while carrying this rock. Was it awkward? Yes. Did people stare at me with confusion when I passed by? Some, yes. My faith prior to this month has been a palm-sized rock. It was small, smooth, and easy to carry. I could run with it in my hand and no one else could see it if I chose to enclose my fingers around it.
I can still run with this BIG faith, even though it is too big to hide in my palm. People will see my worship and obedience to God and react differently- some will smile, encouraged by my faith and what God has been doing in me; others are going to observe this new movement and think I am flat crazy. The truth is I am serving a God who has done miraculous things through these feeble hands of mine, and I cannot keep living as if God created me to be convenient, unobtrusive and pretty.
Our God is wild and scandalous and I want to reflect nothing less.
What if you decide today to surrender what little faith you have for something too big to contain? A spiritual awakening that can’t be hidden? Let go of all your worries about what people think, how you will look running with this gigantic faith, and the fact that you cannot make it happen on your own. Just give in.
Ask God to awaken a BIG faith in your heart.