A shadow grows above my left shoulder and I can’t breathe. Well I can, but it sounds more like controlled gasping. This is the steepest slope I’ve ever climbed. Not on my road bike, in my life. And I’m suffocating.
Where is God when I need Him?
Though I haven’t been able to exercise in two years, the residual strength in my muscles surprises me. Not to brag, but I was exceptionally fit when I got sick. My above average strength was the reason my doctor’s thought I was faking, or crazy. I’ll admit to being a little crazy, but I hate fake.
My breaths came in rhythmic, audible draws as I shifted into low gear to decrease the resistance in my chain. This ride was monumental, for both of us. My riding companion was my faithful friend who has seen the inside of my junk drawers. We started this race five years ago, but we didn’t finish because she crashed; then I did.
The creeping brown bruise on the back of my left hand was evidence of the IV infusion I received three days earlier. I still swallow nine pills a day, but despite myasthenia gravis, I pedaled thirty-two miles and finished the race. No way could I have done it without my friend. Besides, my kids wouldn’t have let me anyway.
I’m right here
When the road was flat and open she rode beside me, but on the hills or in the crowd she stayed behind. Even when I didn’t see her shadow over my left shoulder, I knew she was there when I recognized her voice in the crowd. Occasionally if I couldn’t see or hear her, I briefly took my eyes off the road and glanced back. When I didn’t spot her, she reassured me,
I’m right here
The mountain I’m pedaling up now is the biggest challenge I have ever faced. I never imagined gasping for air like this. The top is shrouded in fog and I can’t always see where I’m going. Still I keep pedaling and watch for His presence.
Hebrews 13:5, “…Be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ESV
Where are you, God?
He promises to be there. Sometimes I feel Him by my side and other times He seems to lag back where I can’t see Him. My spiritual eyes are darting for reassurance and when He knows I need it, I hear His voice.
Isaiah 50:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.” NIV
I don’t want to walk in it
I would rather coast downhill. THIS, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced. Not to brag, but I would not survive if I didn’t have some spiritual muscle beforehand. You can’t wait until you crash to put on your helmet. You can’t wait until your life turns upside down to get into God’s word.
Please don’t think for an instant my spiritual muscle is built by my own strength, I’m talking about:
The word of God hidden in my heart
The truth stored in my marrow
The history and milestones I have with my Savior
I trust Him. He has always been faithful.
Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” HCSB
I am surrounded by friends who are cheering me on. God gives me strength to do what I’m called to do –
I’ll finish the race
2 Timothy 4:6, “You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running.” MSG
Thanks for sharing the ride of my life with me. My thoughts, words and heart are in pieces sometimes. I included lots of links in this post to help you see the landmarks I’ve passed. When you have time, I hope you’ll click on the bolded, underlined phrases for the rest of the story.