A few thoughts: I saw the movie “Forrest Gump” when it was in the theater and watched a little boy being ridiculed for wearing braces on his legs and I felt so sorry for him. As a crowd of bullies was chasing Forrest, Jenny, his close girl friend, was yelling to the top of her voice “RUN FORREST RUN!” He was running for his life and as he ran the braces began to fall away from his legs, all the while Jenny continued to yell encouragement to him! I was overwhelmed and to my embarrassment I burst into crying out loud tears.
Why did it hit me that way? Because in this life there have been many times that I identified with Forrest and other times that I was Jenny, calling out encouragement to someone who seemed to be sinking. We all go through heart aches and heartbreaks for one reason or another and I have heard it all, from abusive, alcoholic mates, victims of rape, rent due with no money, no groceries, to the heartbreak of a sweetheart saying they can’t “do this anymore”! I have been the encourager and the there are time I have had to be encouraged! It reminds me of an old song from my radio days by Joni Mitchell, “I’ve looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow its life’s illusions I recall I really don’t know life at all.” Looking at life from both sides can give you perspective on what the “other” side is thinking, meaning: When you are in a disagreement with someone, honestly try to put yourself in their shoes to see if they are really being unreasonable. Think about the way a lot of people blame God for everything that goes wrong in their life, from bad relationships to losing a job. Maybe you actually did something to bring it on, yes that is possible! Jesus gave His life for us, why would He want us to live in misery. Hebrews 12:1-3 “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
When I think of the people who have gone on before us, like my parents, watching and looking over the ramparts of heaven, I can almost hear them calling encouragement out to me “RUN Harolene, RUN!” So I pick myself up and keep moving! God was talking to Jeremiah, 12:5 “So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?
I think He might be asking us that same question today! As we read the news and see so many things going wrong in the world and all around us, up close and personal, if we want to give up now what would happen if you were to face a terrible tragedy such as the floods, fires, earthquakes or tornadoes? What if your dearest loved one died? We have to learn to put our hand and our cares in God’s hand, 1 Peter 5:6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
I don’t want to be a “downer” I am encouraging you to “keep on keeping on”, to “stay steady in the boat”, (quotes courtesy my granddad and dad respectively) now for my personal quote, “Just be strong, don’t give up, and trust God.” I read something that caught my attention it was “If at first you succeed, try something harder!” I am saying to you my friend, “Don’t give up! RUN READER RUN!”