I've had an amazingly hard day to be honest. My knee pain that started last week has now grown to full fledged tendonitis-- or runner's knee- on my right leg. It had hurt very badly during my meet Friday night, and my coach said some people said it looked like I was limping. While it was "supposed" to heal up over the weekend while I cross-trained and rested, it instead stayed about the same. After I'd taken a day to cross-train last week, it had gotten a lot better. However, after two days off this past weekend, it hurt just as badly. All the ice in the world hadn't made a difference, and it seemed: all the prayer hadn't either.
After another hard workout on the bike, I am really struggling with my plan vs. God's plan right now. If I truly believe the promise he has given me for this season, then I shouldn't be in such despair. If I fully trusted my heavenly father, I wouldn't be trying to solve everything on my own.
So basically, this is a long-winded way of saying that I'm not sure where I am right now. I know I'm frustrated to the core of my being. I know I'm less than 6 weeks out from the state meet. I know I have shown extremely poor times so far. But I know that Jesus loves me and I know he has good plans for me. I know he sees my faithfulness, and seeks to bless that.
Just yesterday, my dad shared with me a visual using children's play blocks. There were five of them, each with something different written on the front, and they were placed at different distances from me, much like targets. Taking me down to the basement where they were, he asked me to only focus on the farthest one away. "I can't see it," I said when he asked what it said. "Can you read the next one?" "No," I shook my head. "How about that one?" "No," I answered, "Should I be able to?" He said no, and then moved on to the next closest one. "Can you read that one," he said, pointing to it. I nodded. It said: Jesus is able to fulfill His word to you (The Promise) (All of these did say my name, but I'm replacing that with "you.") I picked it up, and as I went, my dad said to pick up the closer one which I could also read. It said: Jesus loves you (The Promise). Then I picked up the one I'd originally read, which said: Jesus only wants good for you (The Promise). From there, my dad asked me again, "Now can you see the next one?" From this position, I could read it. It said: Jesus is willing to fulfill His word to you (The Promise). So I went and picked up that one, now carrying a nice load of promises in my arms. "Now can you read the next one?" my dad asked. Again, I said yes and read it to myself: Jesus made a Promise to you and Jesus never breaks His Promises. (The Promise). When I finally picked that one up, I could see the final box. While is was originally way to far to read, I could now clearly make out the text, and as I did, I smiled. It was the promise: the promise I believe God gave me last year regarding this season.
That illustration made such an impact on me, because it showed me that there are times-- like right now-- when I can't see the final promise. It looks impossible and I struggle to have faith in it. Yet, if I can grasp the promises in his word, his promises to love me and to use me and to be with me, then I can keep moving toward the promises ahead of those, the ones specifically named for me. Above all, the foundational promise is Christ's love, and that is the number one thing to hold on to in life. Without that, the other boxes would have been hard to understand when life threw fatigue my way....and a heel strain...and Tendonitis in my ankle...and sickness...and Tendonitis in my knee. While I feel like its been one crazy thing after another, I know that God already has it all planned out. Whether or not it goes the way I want it will and believe it will, he is in control. Come victory or defeat, I know who my God is, and that is because he has made himself known to me. Even though I can't see it right now, I know his promises and I can rest on those that are closest to me and keep moving forward. What amazes me is that He went through the trials of life, so he knew I would need promises and encouragement. He knew that I would fall and fail and need forgiveness. He knew that I needed him to make himself known in order to keep on going and not quit. For that, and for blessing me for the ability to even run at all Lord, thank you.