For runners and those who love them, there’s hope

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

“When Someone You Love is Running.”  That was the title of the piece that went up that day.  And this is how it began.

“It’s Wordless Wednesday here on the blog.  Well, I thought it was Wordless Wednesday until I was driving home, mocha in hand, and along about County Road 7, Someone Else changed it up.

“’Speak,’ He said.  ‘Tell this one.  Today.’”

“I’d been thinking as I rode along in my van, favorite CD poked in, about those we love who are running away.  Thinking how there’s no one here, nobody at all, who doesn’t know someone who’s runnin’.

“You don’t get to live down here and dodge that bullet.  The world’s too big and folks are just so different that it never works that way.  Everyone – everyone – knows a runner, loves a runner, or was a runner, and in all of that, there’s a lot of hurtin’ that happens, and it can nearly take a person out if you don’t know how to look at it.

“Everyone has a story, see, and you can’t usually tell on the face of it what a person’s carryin’.  Maybe that’s why Jesus said, ‘I look past the outside right on down into the heart,’ and, ‘Don’t judge the other fellow,’ and stuff like that, things this girl needs to listen to more, and she’s tryin’.  But that’s another post for another day.

“Anyway.  Back to this thing of runners and those who love them.  What if (this is what He whispered to me plain the other day); what if those who are running away; running from us, running from Him; are actually running right to Him, even if they don’t know it yet?  What if that?

“What if this all-knowing, all-wise, everywhere-present Father we love, you and I, is just that big that He can guide the wildest runner’s steps and lead them straight to Him?  Even when they’re running in what looks like the absolute, opposite direction from Him and us.  What if that?

“You can see how much peace this spoke to my own heart, can’t you, as I thought of the runners I love?  Can you see, you who pray and weep and intercede over your own beloved runners, the peace He means for you?

“He really is that big.  He really is that wise.  He really is that loving to guide a runner’s steps straight back to Him.  He can, and He will.”

In no time at all, I found I’d touched a nerve.  These words had hit on a big, old sore spot in many folks’ lives, and they told me so.  Then something else unexpected happened when several came forward and said, “I was once a runner, too.”  They testified to His faithfulness at guiding their own wild, running steps to Him, and we gave thanks together.

When you look at God’s Word, it’s clear that the Almighty’s got a soft spot of His own for those who run away.  In fact, the whole of Scripture is the story of His pursuit of fallen mankind.  From prostitutes to kings, from nobles to peasants, He’s gone to the greatest extremes to bring such folks back.  And it appears that this is something He expects us to help Him with.

Even now, I hope that names and faces are flashing through your mind.  If you’ve got none, no burden for a runner that drives you to your knees, then you ought to ask the Lord to give you one.  Or 1000.

Whether it’s down the street, in your house, or across the sea, there are plenty of folks who could use some intercession.  For those who’ve been running long, that way back looks awfully hard.  Looks downright impossible; looks mountain like from where they’re standing, and a loving word and a bushel of prayer can go a long way to pulling that mountain right down and helping those feet return.

I know this, too.  When you’ve been praying for years for a beloved runner, you can get just that weary from all the carryin’.  May I tell you plain that you’re not built for that?  That a load like this will break your back and wear you down, peace and joy stealing away like the morning mist?  All you’re made to do, really, is this – to carry him or her to Christ, place them gently in His lap, and leave them there.  In the coming and the placing, He sees faith, and that’s when He moves in.

If you’re a runner, please hear this.  There’s no mountain tall enough, no sin big enough that can keep you from getting to Him.  Or, rather, can keep Him from getting to you.  Come back.

If you’re praying for a runner, take heart.  Start carryin’.  Oh, not on your back; not for long.  You can’t.  But carry them to Jesus.  Oh, yes.  You can.  Then, according to numberless folks who once ran, too, He directs the steps of your runners beloved and leads them back to Him.

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