Do What’s Hard. Receive Reward.

Dec 20, 2013Find joy today, Heal from the past


One morning, I battled myself again. I felt a cough rattling in my chest. When I opened the door, the morning air felt cold. My stomach gurgled. My fatigue level loomed over the top. So I talked to myself.

“Self,” I said, “You don’t need to go running today. Just take another day off. You’re not feeling well.”
“You’re right,” I remarked. “I’m so tired. I need a break.”
“Yes, a break. Sit down at your computer . . . that place where your back and shoulders gets twisted into knots.”
Aidan, my sweet, responsible boy interrupted my battling thoughts. “Are you going running today?”
“I don’t know.”
“Mom, you need to.”
Great, now I had another voice to contend with.
As Julia readied herself for the day, I trudged to my closet where my lonely running shoes awaited me. “OK, just a quick run. No long distances.”
I trotted out the door to a glorious blue-sky day. The route I took was a more scenic one with fewer cars and a view of the lake.
I smiled shortly into my run. In one million ways, I thrilled that I had the privilege to run outside, to experience Jesus on the streets of my neighborhood as His glory danced on the lake.
Again I knew that doing the hard thing is really what’s best for us. (click to tweetThere is great reward in that.
My mind flexed back to France. We did what’s hard there. There were days (months, for me) where I couldn’t put my church planting shoes on, where I fought voices in my head that told me to quit. But I put them on. And I tied the laces. And I did my best.
Now that we’re planted on Texas soil, I see the rewards of going across the world to share Jesus. (click to tweet)
Am I bewildered at the struggles we had? Absolutely.
Do I understand why? No.
Will I ever? I doubt it, this side of heaven.
Do I regret it? No. Because my soul still reaps the rewards. Of sacrifice. Of joy. Of pain.

What about you? What are the shoes you’re not wanting to lace up today? There is reward in doing what’s hard. Glory, even. Because in doing what’s hard, you move outside of yourself, relying on the strength of the One who invigorates the run. (click to tweet)