Friday, June 22, 2012

Uphill Battles


Today as I was on my morning run, I was faced with some inclines and tiny hills. Of course to me, they seemed like mountains as I wastrying hard to run up them without stopping. I was tempted as I started my run to go another direction, one without inclines and hills, but I wanted to face the challenge.  I kept reminding myselfthat running downhill would be worth the work of running up the hill. That thought of the reward and ease of downhill stuck with me all morning.

"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain...now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible." I Corinthians 9:24-25b

Life is much like a race with many roads, some smooth and easy, while others are rough, windy, and full of hills. Trials and hardtimes are like the hills and inclines. But the nice thing about going up a hill is eventually you will come down the hill and be on the other side (the law of gravity!). If you are a runner, going downhill is probably your favorite.  It’s a time you can catch your breath while running at a good pace. (It almost feels like cheating!) I’m thankful for the times in life that God gives us to “catch our breathe” after a hard run uphill.

There are many people I know, who are going through an uphill battle. It’s hard to understand the reason why they have to go through such struggles. And for some people, it seems just as they are about to catch a breath; they are back on the incline. It doesn't seem fair. But we must trust God who knows all things. And through that trust comes peace that passes understanding.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

On my heart right now our two young families, Amos and Liberty Pranger and Chris and Amanda Thorne, who are watching their newborn sons fight for their lives. I can’t imagine what they go through on a daily basis. I do know, it's God's strength alone that helps them on their uphill battle.

For Amos and Liberty, this is the second time togo through this uphill battle with a child. Their oldest daughter has a very rare genetic disorder, NKH. NKH can’t be detected until the baby is born. After a traumatic labor, my nephew Gabriel was in remission. The thought of him having this rare disorder had pretty much vanished from all our minds. It was a waiting game to see how long it would be until he would fully recover.

After ten days, he was making improvements slowly but surely! I didn’t know it, but they were running tests that day to test for NKH. And the results came as a shock to all of us, especially Amos and Liberty. Our hearts sank when we found out the news, Gabriel tested positive for NKH. This family has a long road ahead of them. They are thankful this time around they know what to expect; but it doesn't make it any more enjoyable. They are trusting the Lord, like they do each day, to protect their four children. 

Amanda and Christ Thorne’s son, Logan, has a rare heart disease. Their son is now 3-4 months old, and they have been living life not knowing what each day holds for their son. Her testimony through this has been a blessing and anencouragement to me. She finds reasons each day to be thankful in spite of the storm she is in. You can read up on her blog and their journey here: 

As an expecting mom, I can’t imagine spending sleepless nights apart from my son as he lay in the hospital. These two families have shown what it really means to live by faith. I have seen their confidence and strength in God. Their hope lies in the Creator of hope and life, Jesus Christ. Thank you both for keeping the faith and being a great testimony to all of us. My heart and prayers go out to you and your little ones. I pray the day soon comeswhen you can “catch your breath” awhile and enjoy the rewards of your faith. I’m thankful the Lord blesses those who are faithful. I can only imagine the rewards He has in store for you all. What a testimony you have been to all those around you. :) 

“...weeping may endure for a moment, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b

 For those of you going through an uphill battle, rest assure that God is with you. Though the road seem rough and windy, don't give up- give it to God.

"This trial is not the end of the story, there's a bigger picture God alone can see. Faith will take you through this trial, for we know Who holds tomorrow, and He assures me it's for my good and for His glory."