Meeting My Goals
by Sherry Bitler, Guest Writer
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
September 1st is looming. At 8 AM those registered and those registering will gather to begin an event. Money will be raised for MS research. Participants will walk or run. Some will be content to complete the task (me for one). Others will be trying to better their time from the last competition they entered.
As I see this date coming, I prepare.
My preparation is disciplined and focused. I walk Monday through Friday. The first week I walked a mile. The second week I walked a mile and a half. Last week I managed two miles. Last Monday I woke up at 5 AM and decided I might as well start my trek. The air was brisk, the birds were singing. The neighborhood was quiet and I prayed for the different families as I walk by their houses.
One foot in front of the other, I have to intentionally remind myself (shuffling from one side to the other is more comfortable but not a habit I want to succumb to). I am counseled to carry a cane just as a precaution. I start to count the laps. I am satisfied when finishing the last lap, and I am not exhausted. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all a repeat of Monday, but then came Friday. As I headed out the door I knew walking today was going to be a struggle. The voices in my head were saying four out of five days is enough, your body should rest today. You shouldn’t push too hard, and those things are true – with MS you are always trying to define the line between using too much energy and not trying hard enough to be all you can be. This is a constant prayer of mine right now to find the balance. Confusion is not from the Lord, so I pray for His wisdom. I decide to stick to my goal – five days a week.
I opened the door to cool air, and I began, one foot in front of the other. I really did not feel like walking. Each step felt like my legs were made of lead, and my right foot started dragging. I thought, “Will this be the first day I need to use my cane? Will I have to use my cell phone to call for help? Is this about my pride? Lord, please direct me.” Then suddenly I sensed peace. The Lord showed me that this day, I am not walking in my strength, but in His. I am reminded that when I am used up, His work begins. I should not be surprised by His faithfulness.
But He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9
A dear former co-worker emailed me early this morning. It read, “It is the first of the month-enough said.” I knew immediately what this coded message meant. When we worked together we would often challenge each other to get back on track in areas where perhaps we had been neglectful, let slip, or veered off course. Our personalities were most comfortable using the first of the month as a re-start button. I smiled and replied back, “I’m on it.” I had conquered my walking routine well this month, and for the most part was faithful to good eating habits. God’s morning mercies are new every day.
Thank you, Lord, for this spiritual picture. When I sense a call to something I expect it to feel right. It may be hard work, but it should excite me. The reality though, when God is working in me and calling me to something, it has at times been out of my comfort zone, out of my desire, even out of personal preference. I need to be totally at the end of myself and in total humility long for His strength to shine over mine. When I can do that, the real excitement fills my soul.
Dear Lord, thank you for the moments of stillness when You are teaching me. I pray that I will continue to long for Your teaching. I pray that I will listen and that I will rise to the discipline needed in the story You are writing for my life. Please help me to meet my goals, according to Your Will.
We’re excited that Elizabeth Reynolds Turnage is our guest writer next week. Elizabeth is a writer, story coach, and teacher, and the founder of Living Story ministries (www.elizabethturnage.com). She is passionate about helping people learn, live, and love in God’s story of grace. A blogger and the author of three Bible studies published by P&R Publishing, she is a popular conference and retreat speaker. As an added gift, you can enter a drawing to win an autographed copy of Elizabeth’s new book, The Waiting Room, 60 Meditations for Finding Peace and Hope in a Health Crisis.
Sherry Bitler: Founder of a local traditional Christian School, a homeschool cooperative school, and a summer program for children at a popular Christian Conference Center. She is a spiritual mother to hundreds of young women. Challenged by her daughter-in-law, she began writing a blog, The Grateful Grammie, several years ago as part of her legacy to her grandchildren. She loves time with her husband of 47 years, their four children, their spouses, and twelve grandchildren. Sherry shares more about living with Multiple Sclerosis in this interview: When MS is Your Constant Companion.
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