Faith + Obedience + Patience = Promise

That’s it – my roadmap for my journey to find God’s promise.  Ironically enough, my first steps of this journey were literal first steps – a response to a particular bible study that convicted me on the pride I took of being one who absolutely refused to exercise.  The challenge was to get up one morning solely out of obedience and go for a walk. 

Seems simple enough right? Get up – go for a walk.  There wasn’t even direction on how long it had to be. I also have a pup perfectly willing to join me on my journey walking through a really great neighborhood.  But I don’t walk.  I don’t exercise.  In fact, just a few years earlier, upon turning 40, I had committedly sworn off exercise completely.  I recognized was at a point in my life where I accepted that exercise and I just don’t get along – I had accepted that peacefully and with grace. 

But now, here was God, clearly speaking that it was time to go back on my commitment and selfish determination to stop exercising.  Raising the stakes in the particular decision to follow God’s plan, you should know I am an expert at the art of impatience. I am not the type to walk – it takes too long.  If I’m going to drag myself out of bed and ever so obediently walk a mile, I’m going to run it.

I wasn’t one to exercise, much less run. But I was determined not to collapse each day, so I  put forward the faith and obedience to give my body time to work its way into a healthy rhythm.  I may have exercised patience more than anything those first few weeks.

I got up that first week because I was ready to experiment with blind obedience to God.

Wait. Test God? What?  I grew up in the church and was well schooled on our instruction in 1 Corinthians not to test the Lord (no thank you, snake handlers).  But in this journey, God spoke to me from another place, and led me Romans 12:2-

“Do not confirm any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will”

Now, three months later, my three-ish miles daily is a different mix of running, walking, dragging the dog, sprinting after the dog, and dancing and singing to worship songs. Regardless of how it plays out, it has delivered its promise and brought me to a new level with God.  

For as I run, I am daily given some sort of new insight – to help to repair old wounds, or instruction on how to deal with difficult co-workers or untangle problems at work. I learn how to forgive and love myself and others, to see the majesty of my King, and to abide with him in gratefulness that I am his child.  Several runs have given me the insight, and now the courage, to write about these revelations.  I get to I renew my mind, and learn to trust myself that I can judgewhat is  God’s good, pleasing and perfect will (or to at least try).

And so, I have learned through this exercise on exercise, that I can be a believer and still wonder what God can do or wants from me.  Now I know that, if I have the courage to obey and allow for his timing and have faith, he will deliver on his promises.

 

Jennifer Hill