I ran up a hill today. And I didn’t even stop up at the top. I just kept on running.
That’s simply not like me. I do enjoy a nice walk in the morning, but I’m not a huge fan of running up hills while my heart pounds wildly and sweat rolls down my back. That’s just not my favorite thing in life.
So as far as I can tell, it must have been the hand of God that started pushing me up that hill because I had no idea my legs were going to kick it into high gear. I just took off running, and then after a few seconds I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, I am actually running!” I was shocked as I watched my legs moving out before me and my arms pumping back and forth. I was thoroughly confused…and amazed! To me, the only logical answer had to be “Immanuel…God with us” (Matthew 1:23), because I know I couldn’t have done that on my own! Somehow God delivered me from the mindset that I just couldn’t do it. He showed me that I could.
God always teaches me lessons in funny ways. I think maybe he gets a kick out of it sometimes. I know I do. As I was running up that hill, I just kept saying to myself, “I can do things that are hard! I can do things that are hard!” I started laughing at myself because I felt like the adult version of The Little Engine That Could. The people driving by must have wondered about the crazy lady running up the hill laughing to herself. But I didn’t care. God was speaking to me in that moment, and I was going to enjoy it.
God knows me well. He knows how easy it is for me to start believing myself when I think, “I just can’t do this.” Yet time and again, he has shown me that I can. I remember feeling the call to serve Christ through my writing many years ago, but I gave into my insecurities and thought, “What are the odds that I could really be useful or successful?” So I gave up. For a while, that is.
Several years later God came through to me, loud and clear. He said to my inner self, “You can do this…you are going to do this. Now get started!” I responded, “Yes sir!” And I went running hard in the direction he told me to go, knowing that nothing was going to stop me. I chased after the dream of writing my book like I had never chased after anything before. I had no publisher, no connections, no name recognition–the whole situation seemed so unlikely–but that didn’t matter. I knew that God had enabled me to do something that was hard, and I was certain I could do it. I could feel the hand of God pushing me up the hill, showing me it was possible.
I love God so much. He is my greatest encourager and the one who never gives up on me. His faithfulness “reaches to the heavens” (Psalm 36:5) and he displays it for us to see. We just have to take hold of it.
Today, God saw me slipping back into my same old insecurities, and He met me out on that hill and pushed me forward. He made me remember just how possible it is to do the impossible with Him by my side. What a joyful encounter it was running up that hill, sweating and panting, and being reminded of God’s absolute faithfulness in helping us to do what is difficult.
Maybe you struggle like I do.
Just start running and let God push you up that hill.