There was a time in my life that I was a runner. Oh not the kind of runner who runs in marathons or sprint races…No, not the honorable kind where you train for hours and at the end of the race you win a medal or a ribbon. I ran because I was scared.
I was scared to stop running because if I did I didn’t know where I’d end up; and so I ran and ran and ran. I’d go to one place, hang out for a few months and then off to the races I’d go again…each time I stopped, I thought, this is the place I will settle down. This place will be home and I can finally get my life together and begin to live again. For fifteen years I ran. In fact I moved so much people told me I needed a house with wheels so all I needed to do was hook it up to my car and go. I was so tired of running…but I could not stop.
I cried, I prayed, I begged, I pleaded…but I could not find peace or rest for my weary soul. I couldn’t go back to anywhere because anywhere was no longer there. I couldn’t go forward because forward was not there yet; and I couldn’t stay in the present because it was too painful to be still in one place for very long…so I ran.
I ran from one miserable place to another…but what I discovered was that the place was not miserable, I was.
My heart had been broken and it could not be mended. No matter how much Church I attended, no matter how utterly profound the message I heard was…no matter how I begged God to forgive me and help me I could not find peace…until one day…
I began to say… “God, I forgive myself”…I knew God loved me. I knew I was His child…but I could not forgive me…maybe it stemmed from childhood upbringing…dysfunctional living…abuse…abandonment…all the ugly things we think are reasons…I don’t know…all I know is that God forgives us when we ask Him too…but He also tells us to forgive others and that includes ourselves.
You see, I didn’t love me. I didn’t think anyone else could love me either…not even God. As years went by I began to understand that God’s love isn’t based on how good I am or how bad I am…His love is unconditional and He forgives and forgets…He doesn’t hold grudges, He doesn’t judge, He loves totally and completely with all His heart, mind, and soul…God, IS, Love!
Are there things inside of you that keep you running away? Oh maybe you don’t change your physical address, but you are running just the same. One job to another…one person to another…one habit to another….Are you tired of running to nowhere? When you get there you still have not arrived?
When you get sick-and-tired of being sick-and-tired…and you come to the end of yourself…and you see yourself…that you are the mess that needs restoration…then if you humble yourself before God, the running will end.
We all have a story. We are all flesh and blood. We have hurts and pain and heartaches and shame and guilt. I will tell you, at the end of the race there is a finish line of peace and grace and wholeness…it is in the arms of Jesus, where He holds us, that we can receive true love. No matter how far you run, how fast, or how slow, you will never find contentment until you run to Him.
When I finally gave up, looked at myself and really saw me…and that Jesus really saw me…no pretense, I couldn’t hide from His eyes…and He loved me in spite of me and who I was and what I’d done…the hurts I’d received, and the hurts I’d caused, and He still loved and accepted me…the running stopped. And the blessings of His grace came flooding into my heart and He gave me a brand new life and a brand new home…I had finally gotten to somewhere. A place of love and happiness, I’d never experienced before.
Stop running to nowhere…just stop! Jesus is right before you, with arms stretched wide. Let Him hold you. Let Him wipe away the tears and all the pain. Then love Him totally and completely and love others and love yourself.
Forgiveness brings peace and rest…it lets you breathe, clean, fresh, living air…it frees you from chains of guilt, shame, hate, lusts, discontentment…when you forgive others and yourself your lungs fill with good, wholesome joy that cannot be contained and you are FREE!!! Free to love, free to give, free to embrace what seemed just out of reach. Forgiveness brings healing. God knows that when you forgive you are forgiven!!!
Jesus said, Love your neighbor as you love yourself…
Mark 12:30-31Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
“The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.”
I love the Lord Jesus Christ and am passionate about writing. I hope you enjoy the blog and come to visit often.
Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2: 2-4