I am tired.
I don’t know why.
This morning, after my usual 5 AM wake-up (thanks to our wonderful dog), I did something unusual: I went back to bed.
When our dog started rising earlier & earlier, I realized after letting him out I rarely fell back to sleep. Rather than lie in bed & stare at the ceiling, I decided to go running at that early hour.
Running, rather than trying to go back to sleep, became my pattern. I’ve been slowly increasing my weekly mileage to the point that last week, I ran 35.5 miles & competed in a 10K on Monday.
I’ve gotten to the point where the benefits of running first thing were worth more than trying to go back to sleep.
That’s what made this morning so unusual. I was so exhausted I let the dog out & crawled back into bed. Unfortunately for me, my 2 children did not stay asleep and after an hour, I got up & went running anyway.
I have now spent the entire day, completely exhausted. This is generally not a good set-up for writing Freedom Friday; add whiny kids to the equation (they are likely as tired as I am!), and forget it.
I needed to pause. Stop grabbing food & coffee (my go-to when completely spent). And rest in God for a minute.
I need to ask myself (yes, I ask myself these questions in 2nd person):
Who is your source?
What or who breathes life into you?
Who sustains you?
What gets you out of bed in the morning? (For me, the answer is clearly my dog!)
Who is the first person/thing you check in with in the morning? Facebook, email, the Bible?
To whom or what do you run when you are drained, wiped, out of energy, or just plain done?
We all know what the answer to these questions should be. But what is it really?
Today, I’m struggling to believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13), but in the midst of my struggle, I’m choosing to believe that it’s true.
This word that is translated “strengthens” seems to imply that it’s a process. It is also translated in the New Testament “grew strong” or “increased in strength”.
When I started running, I would run 2 miles, max., and it would take me 24 minutes (a 12 minute mile). I ran my 10K this week in 58:10 (that’s just under a 9 minute & 23 second mile, but the course was really flat). I could only do that time, and my 3 mile run of 31 minutes this morning, because my muscles have grown stronger with extended use.
Muscles grow through exercise. Use of muscles creates small tears. Your body reacts to this damage by repairing the muscles and growing stronger in the process.
If I keep running to other sources, those muscles will never grow, and I will never learn to respond differently.
So today, I imagine my patience & endurance muscles tearing in small ways (hence the pain & exhaustion). I picture God knitting them back together, even stronger, so that the next time I face a similar situation, I will be all that more equipped to deal with it.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13