We never realize how good life is until we feel like we’re dying.
Ever walk up the stairs and feel like you’re out of breath? Ever go for a walk or exercise and feel out of breath? Honestly that is the worst part about running in life. I hate it when I run out of breath. I would rather have a painful run. I like the feeling of being able to breath.
Anxiety, fear and pain all take our breath away. It’s something that every person on earth has to learn how to deal with. I’m not just talking physical pain either, I also mean that emotional pain of our heart being wounded, that hurtful word that sent a knife through your heart, and that feeling of being rejected or betrayed.
When we follow Jesus, we learn that God is the breath of life. Without breath, we cannot live.
On one of my runs I decided to do what they call a negative split, where each mile is faster than the one before. The first mile was supposed to be around 11 minutes but turned out to be around 10. I turned around for the second mile and was hit full force with the wind. Being as this mile was supposed to faster than the last, I pushed harder, but with little success. I ended up finishing this one still around 10 minutes.
I was determined that the last mile, whether it rained on me or not, was going to be faster than the last two. At about six-tenths of a mile I had to stop, I couldn’t breathe. I cried out to God in desperation, I need strength, I need breath, I can’t breathe. Give me breath. All of a sudden an image popped in my head and I started crying. Lord, forgive me. I saw Jesus hanging on the cross gasping for breath- pushing against the nail in his feet in order to fill his lungs with air; blood running down his body… for me.
Now there was no way I was going to be able to run hard anymore being all choked up like that. But I thank God for the lesson he gave me. He reminded me in a very real way how much He loves me. I finished the three miles in my average pace and ended up doing a couple tenth mile sprints afterwards. The sprints were all around 50 seconds proving to me that my body really could have gone on, if I had only remembered to breath.
As humans we are capable of doing so much more than we could ever imagine. I mean, we have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, living inside of us! And Philippians clearly says that we can do all things through Christ because He strengthens us. And in Matthew it shows us that Jesus’ yoke is easy and light.
But we first have to lose our own life. We first need to die to ourselves and take Jesus’ yoke. We need to be like a seed, to die and be placed deep in the earth before we can grow and produce life! We need to lose our breath so He can breathe His breath into us!
But then the question, do we want this? Are we truly willing to lose our breath, our very life, for Him? I challenge you to ponder this question in prayer and allow Jesus to speak true life into your being.
Happy Running Ya’ll!