by Joel Lawler
I am training to run the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. The race takes place at the end of April. The distance is 26.2 miles. You might see stickers on cars that have this obscure number on it. It signifies that the person driving the car completed the race.
Prior to last Sunday, the furthest that I have ever run was 14 miles and that was a year ago. Two weeks ago, I attempted it again and it did not go well.
This past Sunday I ran 16 miles. It was great to get past the 14-mile mark.
I learn a great deal about life through running.
The lessons of patience, the constant learning to take each hill, each mile as it comes and not getting caught up in thinking too far ahead is so good.
I have never run a marathon. My running partners have run quite a few. I have to trust the training plan that they have put together.
Our longest run in training will be 20 miles. My head tells me that we should do 30. The marathon is 26 so in my mind it only makes sense to run further than the distance of the race.
My partners have run this before. They have used the plan that we are using and it worked. I have to trust them rather than rely on my own thinking.
I know that God is good. I know that he is in control. I know that there are no accidents. I know that he is writing my story. He places every dot and crosses every 't'. It is so easy to question what is happening or the circumstances that I find my self in and wonder if he is control or even if he is good.
I have seen God do incredible things in my life. At the age of 18, I almost died. I had jaw surgery. I lost a lot of weight. I contracted an intestinal bug that caused me not to be able to keep any food down. My immune system was very weak. I had an infection that attacked my heart.
My father took me to a walk-in clinic. They gave me something that was supposed to help with nausea. On the way home, my dad sensed that there was a bigger problem. He took me to our family doctor. We walked in the door and he told my dad to take me to the hospital immediately. He was going to call them and let them know we were on the way. The doctor was no closer than 15 feet away and he could see that my heart was failing. I did not have long to live without immediate attention.
My father trusted something higher than traditional wisdom. Had he followed the directions of the walk in clinic, I would not have survived.
The obvious question is why would a loving God choose for an 18 year old to go through this? I survived. Would God be any less good or loving had I died? Children die frequently. The news is full of tragedies. How can there be a loving and good author writing this story with so many bad things that happen?
My story is a part of THE STORY. God is writing the story. When I have the singular perspective of my story, it is easy to judge God on what should and should not happen. It is incredibly arrogant and ignorant to do so because my perspective is so very limited.
I trust that God is good and that he is in control. I trust that he will complete the story and when he does it will be beyond anything that I can ever imagine.