I wake up with the word “adversity”on my mind. I suppose I’ve always sort of scoffed at it, or thought of it as rather cliché, a word reserved for playoff or Super Bowl speeches. But today, as far as running goes, I am feeling it. This week I’ve been icing a knee that got tweaked after standing funky in the gym, popping Cold Eeze for a sore throat and wondering about getting up before
5 a.m. for my run to accommodate Mo’s latest schedule change at work. Last night after Mo delivered his schedule news, I couldn’t seem to shut off the water works. “It feels like things are starting to stack up against me for this marathon,” I told him.
To put it mildly, I’m feeling discouraged.
So this morning I head downstairs, make myself a latte, and wander outside with my journal and “Jesus Calling” devotional. I flip it open to August 18. “Expect to encounter adversity in your life…” it begins. Then…”Anticipate coming face to face with impossibilities: situations totally beyond your ability to handle….It is precisely where I want you—the best place to encounter Me in My Glory and Power (Revelation 19:1).” I sit with these words for awhile, letting them soak in.
This is where the rubber meets the road.
The first thing on my list (after we hit our favorite coffee shop) is to buy some new running shoes. I’m the only customer in the store right after it opens. I share with the guy what’s been going on. He listens, offers insight and even advice. He’s done seven marathons. He’s trained through knee pain. We discuss injuries, training and shoes. I talk through my plan to take a couple (maybe even a few) days off. He reminds me that it’s OK.
“This week is the first blip in my training,” I tell him.
“It probably won’t be the last,” he kindly encourages.
His words are reassuring. He’s been there. Many times.
By the time I settle on a pair of shoes, my discouragement turns back into optimism and hope. I am uplifted and encouraged by his words and experiences.
As I drive home I think about the other word that always seems to accompany the word “adversity.”