Wednesday, July 23, 2008

By Faith

This is my daily email devotional and for me, it was a perfect visual of living by Faith. I have a huge problem with worrying and am trying to conquer that daily, especially when it comes to my kids! I love running, so this really spoke to me! Enjoy!!

July 23, 2008

Running By Faith
Tracie Miles

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

It was finally here. My favorite time of year, and my favorite place to be. I hopped out of bed with an unusually eager attitude to do my morning exercise. I stepped out the door into the crisp morning, and inhaled a deep breath of salty beach air. I headed for the soft white sand, and began jogging briskly at the edge of the surf, admiring the vastness of one of God’s most amazing creations. After a short while, the morning sun became exceptionally bright, causing me to squint. It was then that I realized that in my haste to experience the beautiful Carolina surf, I had left my sunglasses behind. I tried to keep my eyes open, but it was just too bright. I thought to myself about the open area around me, and decided it would be safe to go a short distance with my eyes closed completely. Knowing that miles of empty beach lay ahead of me, and that there were very few people, if any, at the beach this early in the morning, I confidently ran forward with both eyes closed tightly shut.

As I continued running blindly, and spending time with God in prayer, a startling thought leapt into my mind - “is this what God means when He tells us to walk by faith and not by sight?”. I allowed my mind to drift away from my surroundings and focus on this concept. In the case of my morning run, I already knew that there was nothing in my path to bump into. There were no people, dogs, umbrellas or flying frisbees yet, so I felt completely confident running with my eyes closed. However, life does not always have a bump-free pathway for us to run on, but rather is packed full of obstacles, big and small. During this prayer time, I felt God nudging me to recognize whether or not I would be willing to run with my eyes closed through the bumpy patches of life, and solely rely on Him for my confidence, even when I did not know what lay in front of me.

I found myself asking God, “Lord, what things do I need to walk by faith in, and not by sight?”. For the next several minutes, with each exhale of breath, God brought something to mind that I needed to have a stronger faith about. A family member’s chronic illness. A friend’s job search. A damaged relationship. Someone whom I needed to forgive. Raising my children. Marriage. Health concerns. The war. Who would lead our country. The future.

It became crystal clear to me in that moment, that I rarely walk by faith regarding issues of great concern. It seems that when the burdens get heavy, I try to carry them on my own. I fret and worry. I imagine the worst case scenario. I try to determine what I can do to remedy the problem. I waste time wishing things were different. When what I should be doing is giving God the opportunity to do His work. Worrying will not change a thing, but faith can change everything.

Walking by faith and not by sight, does not mean we need to walk around with our physical eyes closed, but that we need to live with the eyes of our heart open. God wants us to put our faith in Him, believing with full confidence that He will take care of the obstacles, guide us around the problems, and carry us through to the end. The NIV version of 2 Corinthians 5:7 puts it this way, “We live by faith, not by sight.” We are not commanded to merely walk by faith, but live by faith, each and every day.

If you are like me, I want to not only walk by faith, but run by faith. I want to have the type of faith in Christ that will allow me to close my physical eyes, and see through the eyes of my heart instead, while running full force ahead with no fear.

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