Really, Lord? Everything?

If you read this blog, then you've already heard me whining about the 1/2 marathon I've foolishly courageously signed up to do.  As I've spent time running and kickboxing and lifting weights and doing sit-ups and push-ups this week, there has been one thing that's been running as if on a loop though my head:


Okay.  Make that two things.  I've also been thinking about the following verses:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.   I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:12-13, emphasis mine)

Actually, it's just that last part (verse 13) that keeps playing in my head, the part about doing everything through Him.  And it seems that every time that verse comes to mind, I find myself asking my Lord the same question:  "Really?  Even this?"  

I hesitated to even write this post because I am absolutely loathe to use Scripture out of context.  I don't want to put words in His mouth or meaning behind His words that was not intended.  So... 

Was Paul talking about strapping on some high tech running shoes (compared to the sandals he was used to anyway), cranking up the iPod, and running around like a fool for no apparent purpose?  I don't think so.  Paul suffered, but he did it for a cause.  He didn't do it for his own sense of accomplishment.  He didn't do it to have a healthy body.  He didn't do it because he wanted to compete for the sake of being a competitor.  He did it for the Lord's own Gospel.  It seems natural then, that the Lord would strengthen Paul in order to get that work done.  

Does my suffering for a cause less than Paul's mean that this Scripture doesn't apply to me? 

Don't we do this to ourselves all the time?  Don't we compare our circumstances to others', and disqualify ourselves (or them) based on the intensity or purpose of our struggle?

"My suffering is nothing like HER suffering.  Surely, the Lord is closer to her."

"My suffering feels like a lot to me, but I know it could be worse.  I guess I should be thankful."

"She thinks what she's dealing with is tough.  Has see seen what I've endured?  She has no idea what real pain is."

"This mess is my own fault.  I deserve suffering.  The Lord won't/can't comfort me now."

Why do we do this?  To be honest, I don't really know.  I suspect that it has something to do with pride.  It always seems to have something to do with pride.  Pride can be sneaky.  I might come to the conclusion that I'm somehow LESS, which seems like humility right?'s the part where I take the judgement into my own hands in the first place.. that's prideful.  Make sense?

Or maybe it's just that God is so big and so awesome that we just can't seem to get our little brains around who He is.  We can't fathom what He's really like and how much He loves we fabricate these itty bitty little boxes for Him to occupy in our minds.  It makes Him a little more understandable that way.

Or maybe I'm the only one who does this crazy stuff, and I'm just a nut-job.  It wouldn't be the first time I've heard that theory! 

But I'm going off on a rabbit trail here.  Back to my original point - can I "do everything through him who gives me strength"?  Does that verse apply to me and my little battle?

I believe so. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not a "name it and claim it" kind of girl.  God isn't going to deliver a miracle simply because I call on Him to do so (and believe me, running 13 miles on these rubbery legs would sure be a miracle).  He's not a short-order cook!  He's still the one with the plan.  He's still in charge.

What I'm doing here...I guess it could be called resting and trusting in Him.  If this is His will for me, then He will give me strength for it.  In fact, I can do ALL things through Him. 

I can give birth to 4 babies.  I can live with endless bickering, whining, and bodily fluids where they do not belong...with joy.  I can survive debilitating depression.  

And by God (quite literally, if He chooses to give me the strength) - I can run 13 miles! 

Please feel free to link up and share your experiences with the Lord this week:

Seek The Lord Sunday Participants

1. Becky

2. Pam Suggs

3. Vanessa

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Mary  – (2/22/2009 03:59:00 AM)  

You amaze me - you always express yourself so wonderfully. I appreciate your candor. All the best with the marathon. I'm cheering for you.

Becky Avella  – (2/22/2009 08:59:00 AM)  

I'm cheering for you, too. Thank you for being an inspiration.

Love you!

Mel  – (2/22/2009 11:56:00 AM)  

You are correct in your assessment that we compare our circumstances with others...yet God never changes and He means His promises in all of our circumstances although His answers may not be what we expect.

Pam  – (2/22/2009 01:50:00 PM)  

That was wonderful! Everything you said is so true..especially about pride...

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