Friday, September 5, 2014

I'm Sure You've Heard

Thought it was a good time to catch up! It has been a quick summer filled with long walks, bike rides and day trips. I had surgery in July to fix some scar tissue from a previous surgery that had caused a neuroma to form and a lot of pain. I feel much better, and am glad I finally had it fixed. My leg brace is currently getting remade because I lost so much weight it was way too big, and I am eagerly awaiting it's return.

In May, on Mother's Day actually, I stood on the side lines again and took pictures at the Tough Mudder. This year was different as both my husband and daughter participated (last year just my husband ran the event while my daughter and I volunteered). When we left the event, I decided that no matter how long it takes me to finish, next year I will be completing the Tough Mudder course right alongside Chad and Katherine. To my amazement, several of our friends have decided to join my team and help me to finish. I am thankful for such a great support system! (as a side note and shameless plug- there is still room on my team #letscarryshari. If you are interested and live in the Chicago area let me know and you can come join us!)

All of this has me thinking about Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The reason this verse came to mind, is not what you might expect. This verse has become a common refrain among stars, athletes and everyday people doing activities out of the norm. It has been used to mean "no matter what I decide to do, Christ will enable me to do it." This usage is not at all correct however. This verse is not an indication of our ability to accomplish anything we set our minds too, but it is an expression of our sufficiency in Christ.

Paul was not giving us a prescription to be able to accomplish anything we desire. I physically cannot run any more than my husband can physically give birth to a child. Neither of those things can happen, even if we wanted them to, and believing that "I can do all things through Christ" doesn't change that fact. In Philippians chapter 4, Paul is writing to Christians as a prisoner for Christ, expressing that he has learned to be content in every circumstance. "...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-13).

I do intend to finish the Tough Mudder on Mother's Day in May 2015, both with my friend's help and my own stubbornness, and while being both "in Christ" and "with Christ." I have no false belief that this verse confirms that I can complete a Tough Mudder course. This verse will not be my team motto. Whether I finish or not, I can be content in Christ. I can rest in Him and be satisfied in my circumstances. I do not need to be mad or question why God let me fail, because this verse was not a promise that I can do anything I set my mind too, but assurance that He is the one in control. I can trust Him and be content in all situations knowing that every happening is filtered through His loving hands, and through Christ my salvation is secure. Whatever the outcome next May, I am thankful for a God who gives me peace and contentment through His Son.