running

Resting & Running (The R&R of Faith)

This morning, I looked over at my neighbor’s year-worn, time-tested, antique yet beautiful house. I have seen their house ever since our family moved into this neighborhood. Yet, it was only this morning that I stood and thought about what met my eyes.

A few weeks back, a portion of the building, some sort of protruding balcony, had collapsed without warning. There were no casualties, and over the past several weeks, one could hear the constant drilling and grilling sounds as the construction was underway to restore the broken structure.

The old balcony was replaced with a new one, along with two sturdy beams that ran the length of the building, providing new support and strength to the previously dilapidated structure.

What interested me, though, was all it took was two new beams (apart from all the other construction material that goes in) to give new strength to the otherwise weak and weather-beaten balcony. Of course, there are no guarantees that the other sections of the house will not be falling off soon. But our focus here is the once broken but now restored balcony.

2 things immediately come to my mind :

  1. You don’t have to tear down the entire building to restore the balcony.
  2. The 2 beams that stood tall and sturdy couldn’t themselves hold the balcony together. Instead, a lot was done to place the beams together before they put up the balcony.

Work-in-progress

Though I pray for the contrary, I know that the falling apart of the balcony is only the beginning of the end.  Sooner or later, the entire building will have to be redone, perhaps torn apart / demolished to give way to a new one. New wine in old wineskins or old clothes with new patches do not last. But the good news is, the new section, the new balcony, the new life is stronger and better than the old one.

As human beings, it is natural for us to hate changes, especially when it requires tearing down old strongholds, old ways of thinking, our old and used-to lifestyle for the new, unknown, yet-to-be explored one.  Change threatens our established way of doing and being, but there can be no growth without change.

Change is necessary

Interestingly, when we start as believers, we are more willing to embrace the new life and new creation than when we are already living our lives for Christ. Indeed, God never changes. His character, His love for us, is steady as a mountain, and that is what He wishes for us, to be as He is in this world. But, unfortunately, none of us were born that way. The gifts of the Spirit are well received, but the fruits have to be grown patiently, from season to season.

Just another day

Every day we are changing. Some changes are more immediately apparent, while others take years to manifest. No day is insignificant. Often our eyes are so set on the distant future or still stuck in the days long gone that we forget to live where we are now, celebrate what we are doing today.

Interestingly, throughout the scriptures,God is called the God of the living. “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” To all future generations of Israel, this is how He addresses Himself. He rejoices to see the work begin (Zechariah 4:10). Our Father is happy for you today. The beams may look shabby and commonplace without any exterior decorations, yet they are the beginning of something unshakeable. That is how we look to Him, as we grow little by little every day in our faith.

Eyes on the finish line

I love the book of Hebrews, especially chapter 12, where the writer (presumably Paul) urges us to run our race and finish in faith, all the while being cheered by a great cloud of witnesses, whose lives also testify to the faithfulness of God.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…

Hebrews 12:1-2

Several things throughout the day will distract you, taking you farther and farther away from His presence. But you have to choose to think His thoughts, bringing every thought captive into the obedience of Jesus. Every day is one day nearer to being with our King in His Kingdom, and I look forward to that day with eager earnestness when He tells me, ‘ Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Rest and Run

The key to completing our race successfully is to ‘ rest and run’. Rest on His words, His promises while you run your course with steadfast, unshakeable faith in all that He has said. The beams of your faith will be as strong as the foundation of His word on which you plant yourself.

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

Matthew 7:24-25

Blessed is the man who establishes himself on the word of God, doing what He has said. For come what may, he will stand.

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