The pain shot through my back, intensifying with each footfall. Legs turned to lead, asphalt to molasses. How would I make it home?
A lump rose in my throat, and tears stung the corners of my eyes. I swallowed hard, and pressed on.
“Just one more mile, Jennifer,” my soul whispered within me. “Just nice and easy. This isn’t a race. You just gotta make it home. That’s all. Just get home.”
Just get home.
Step. By step. By step.
That was Thursday. Four days later, I sit here at the computer, with an icy gel-pack tucked into the back waistband of my Peace pajamas. I took two ibuprofen an hour ago. I’ll apply heat in a little while.
But I find the most comfort right here, in leather-bound Word.
Because this is how we treat the pain: We visit the God who is acquainted with it. He knows our pain. He does not bring pain, but He sees the fruit it will bear. And if we trust Him to carry us to the other side of pain, we know our present-day sufferings will build something within.
“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” — Romans 5:3-4
And this is how life goes, as we spin dizzily on the axis of Earth, isn’t it? We’re running along, at record-pace on a downhill stretch when … snap … it all changes.
We panic at first, perhaps, but the Voice of Truth within whispers. We breath in, and out, and we slow our pace, and we find our stride, and we tell ourselves: We just gotta make it home.
This is not a race to the finish line, this life. We are all headed Home, and some of us are stumbling and weary and in pain today.
Oh, dear friends, may we find reassurance in leather-bound, red-letter Medicine. May we know that Hope is close at hand. Because the Word says this: From the suffering comes endurance. From the endurance comes character. From this God-molded character, comes Jesus-branded Hope.
And hope does not disappoint us … — Romans 5:5
Yes, this obscured thing you hold in your hand ….
It may well be HOPE.
Photos: My hope candle, lit for me and for you, my friend.
I suffered a small setback, a torn muscle, but I am determined to reach the finish line on May 2 with the help of my coaches and this God of Hope. Thank you for your prayers and for your wildly generous support of my half-marathon run. My fundraising meter doesn’t show the full total yet, but together, we’ve blown past my goal of $1,800! We have now raised more than $2,100 for cancer research! My deepest thanks to those who gave, and to those who have prayed and to those who stand with me, even silently, in this place.
You’re all Hope to me.