I laced up my sneakers and packed all of the essentials for my longest training run yet- 11 miles. Breathing in deep through my nose, I pushed off against the greenway path and steadied my pace. Mile by mile, I prayed for the individuals whose names were in my pocket on a 3×5 note card. With the rhythm of my feet on the pavement, and the sound of the rushing water with the river next to me, I entered into a time of communion with God. The rest of my week was packed full and overflowing, loud and chaotic, but in those long runs? It was just the Lord, a chance to clear my mind, and the beauty of the open sky above. When my lungs or legs grew tired, I flipped my index card over to remind myself of that day’s meditation. For that run, I prayed over Isaiah 40:30-31:
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Yesterday was a day of intercession and prayer. Some of you shared your hearts with me, and some of you just came to my heart as I spent time with Jesus. I prayed for you on my morning run as the sun came up over the lake. I sat in a quiet chapel in an airport full of motion to still my heart and speak your names softly. I lifted you up during my day of travel, on my flights back home. And in page after page of my journal, I wrote out prayers for you.
I prayed for you to know the God of mercy and grace, rather than one of judgment and condemnation. I prayed for you, the one carrying far too many burdens, to feel the freedom to release them at His feet. I prayed for you who are aching in body and spirit- for relief and healing, but also for you to experience the closeness of a tender Savior who understands suffering. He is right there with you in this as you wait for healing to come. For you who are beaten down and battle weary, I prayed for sustenance. One day at a time, one moment at a time, to trust Him to guide you forward and to give you what you need. I prayed for Truth to be with you today instead of the lies of your past and the insecurities of the present. I prayed for you who are waiting, for a time of stillness and intent listening as you wait for wisdom and His lead.
For both of us, I prayed that this season would be one of standing on the Rock. That on the hard days, we would not be shaken or moved because we stand firm with the Creator and Counselor who holds it all in His mighty hands. He will not let our feet slip. He will never leave us. He is right here. We are not alone.
|| O P E N ||
A suddenly free day created an expanse of time for thought around this word.
To lay beneath a tree and look through the clearings, between the branches, to take in the expanse of pure blue sky.
Space for Sabbath rest, a run by the river, cooking the stew that reminds me of my best friend.
To hold hands open, gentle, soft for whatever is placed in them.
To remove clutter, extra, the unhealthy and the unneeded. To make space for the healthy and good.
To hear other people’s stories without judgment.
To create room for those who are different than me to feel heard and loved.
Allowing my own feelings to rise up without self-criticism. Letting go, as with a breath, those that are not healthy or helpful. Holding on to what is true and will create growth.
To let love in again after deep pain and sorrow.
Noticing the September around me.
What does the word OPEN mean to you today?