Running for Him Who Can't
I was recently at an event where the facilitator asked this question, “If money nor time was a constraint, what would you do?” Being so quickly put on the spot (I guess there’s no other way to be put on the spot is there), I panicked wanting my answer to be the most interesting and impressive.
Those who know me well know I’m the worst at this kind of stuff. I need a good two weeks to think about it. Such things just can’t be carelessly blurted out without deep thought and contemplation. Can they? I have commitment issues and there’s no way I’m committing to something so important as a life dream in only two minutes.
I’m sure the question was simply meant to be an ice breaker and NOT something to be taken so seriously, so I fought the urge to ask for more time to think and just stole the answer of the woman who went before me. Ha, just kidding. Or am I?
The truth is that while questions like this stress me out, I love them! Dreaming up wild, impossible ideas fills my heart with hope and wonder. It’s life-giving to me. It reminds me of the bigness of God and beckons me to believe in that bigness.
Jesus planted the seed of a dream deep within me two years ago while I was participating in a 5k supporting my son’s school. As I walked under the scorching sun, pushing Jacob along in his wheelchair, I heard these words whispered within me, “Run for him who can’t!”
“Lord is that You or am I just caught up in the moment? Do You want me to train to run with Jacob? But I’m not a runner. I get winded when walking briskly around my house. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I don’t have proper shoes or clothes. It’s so hot here. I could get hit by a car. I’m just not strong enough.”
I buried that speck of a dream under a mountain of excuses and left it there to rot, but if a dream truly is God-breathed, not even the weight of a thousand excuses are enough to keep it entombed forever.
I know what you’re thinking or what I would be thinking if I were you.
“Shona, I thought you loved dreaming up wild things to do and now when the Lord plants a dream within you, you run (and not the kind of running He’s asking you to do). Why?”
Aaahhh…. I don’t know. I got the very thing I wanted, an assignment from the Lord, and instead of embracing the challenge I fled in fear.
If I’m being completely honest, I think I just didn’t want to be made uncomfortable. I wanted God’s dream for me to be easy and fun, not full of sacrifice and sweat. I wanted the trophy without the training. I wanted the pearl without the irritant of the sand.
But that’s not how God works, is it? He doesn’t call us to the easy and fun, but to the wild and impossible. He asks us if we’re willing to be brave enough to walk with Him in uncharted places that will require trust and complete dependence upon Him.
Look at Abraham. God planted the dream within him to be a father of a nation (Gen 12:1-4) and in his old age he was still without an heir (Gen 17:17). Sure he waivered at times finding it hard to cling to his implanted dream, but he always returned to the truth that the God he served, the God who dared him to believe, was a God of miracles and at the ripe old age of 100 he was blessed with a son (Gen 21:1-5), his wife Sarah was 90, and God would use that son to birth a nation. Talk about wild and impossible. Abraham was brave enough to believe God and to trust Him in the face of insurmountable odds and because of that belief he experienced the God-filled, adventure-filled, miracle-filled life.
I want the same to be said of me one day, that I dared to believe God and pursued His dreams for me with passion….so I invested in some spandex pants and started to run. It was actually more like an awkward trot at first, but that’s neither here nor there. I started to run because the Lord told me to and one day I woke up and realized I was running because I wanted to. God’s dream for me had become my dream for me and where there were once excuses could now be found excitement (most days). This is hard, really hard and there are days I just don’t want to run at all. There are days I doubt if I’ll ever be able to accomplish the goal of pushing Jacob in a race, but then I remember Abraham who trusted God despite what he saw and I purpose to do the same. I push past my feelings and into the truth that He who planted this dream within me is going to be faithful to fulfill it.
So what about you? What is the God-breathed dream in your life and are you pursuing it? Is God calling you to start a business? Write a book? Adopt a child? Climb to Everest base camp? Dreaming can be scary, I know that. There’s sacrifice involved, so much unknown, and the possibility of failure. I hid from God’s dream for me because of these very things. My advice to you if you’re feeling afraid and unsure is to PRAY…….Pray and ask the Lord to give you the courage to take one step forward today and then again tomorrow and then again the day after that. Before you know it you’ll be running and the impossible won’t seem so impossible anymore.