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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Reaching for Our Runner's High

Are you someone who can't handle well what you face in life? Do you look for something that will ease the pain of hard circumstances with a quick solution? A quick solution is the easy answer, but it doesn't require any change on your part. It makes you feel better for a moment, but it doesn't last. Eventually the problem will be exposed for what it really is–something which controls your thoughts and actions. Life will remain the same until the Lord is allowed to change you. He will not be a quick solution. His solution takes surrender and sacrifice, but it will last, and you will discover a spiritual "high" in Him that brings peace.

We live in a society of instant fixes. We don't want to wait for anything. We rush through busy lives unable to take a moment to discover the beauty in God's creation. In our hurried commotion we don't hear the voice of the Holy Spirit calling to the void within us. He whispers, “I'm here”, but we do not hear Him. He tries to hold us when we are hurting, but we do not feel His grasp. He waits, but we do not respond. He longs to carry the pain, but we do not let it go. Letting go means that we will have to allow Him to have control.

The depth of the Holy calls to the depth of man. “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me” (Isaiah 42:7, NIV). We fight against that deep call because it means that we must allow Him to sweep over us. It means that we must sacrifice “self” in order to soar in Him. Instead of learning to soar on the wings of the Holy Spirit, we seek an instant solution which sets us up for failure. To soar through anything we face in life we must sacrifice our need for an instant answer. We must yield to the lesson God wishes to impart. We must face our problem head-on, seek His will, and surrender to whatever is required.

Life will overwhelm us if we have not prepared ourselves spiritually. Faith must be exercised for it to grow stronger. We make a daily decision to fill our lives with His presence instead of our preconceived desires. We make a decision to surrender our busy time to take time for Him. We feed our spiritual lives everyday through prayer and study of His Word. We seek Him for the best answer instead of taking the easy way out. We believe in what He reveals in His Word, and we stand upon it. We speak life to problems instead of death sentences. We look for the best when the world looks for the worst. We believe when the world says to give up. We place all the faith we can muster in His strength and His promises, because we believe He never fails. We let go of fears that have defined us, and allow faith in His love and care to define who we are. These are conscious decisions that we make everyday to soar above what the day brings.

Spiritual grow is not instant! It does not just happen! We train to be spiritually stronger. Consider a runner who prepares for a marathon. He does not just decide to run a marathon. If he does he has set himself up for failure. He trains for many months until he has the strength and ability to run the race and finish it. Have you ever heard the term "runner's high"? It refers to a euphoric state of mind experienced by many runners during a long run. When the body is pushed to the limit, as in a marathon run, it begins to experience pain. To compensate for the pain the body produces endorphins. Not only do endorphins have a pain-killing effect, but they also produce a sense of well-being.

Isn’t this what the Lord wishes for us as we grow spiritually? That we get to the point where the circumstances of life spur us on to soaring heights and pain brings us to a greater faith in His ability to handle life’s struggles? There is a peace that passes all understanding, but it is only found in giving each trial to Him. It is only found in our thankfulness for His provision (Philippians 4:6-7). It is only found in letting Him have control. When we have discovered this euphoric peace of mind, we have found our “runner’s high”.

C.S. Lewis was once asked why he still prayed when it looked as if God was not going to save his wife from cancer. His answer is powerful in its truth. “I pray because prayer changes me.” God never changes. He is our constant in the storm, but we must change and grow spiritually in order to realize it. When we surrender and began to exercise our faith, He becomes the wind beneath our wings, and lifts us above whatever we face. No, He is not an instant answer, but He is the best. He lasts, and in Him we not only run the race of life, we soar through it.

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