Before I clicked off the call, doubt and worry were creeping into my mind. How would I navigate the mountain roads at night, engulfed in darkness? I would never find my way from one station to the next. What would happen if I got lost, with all his necessities in my car? Fear rapidly reared its ugly head. I was delighted to get this news, yet so scared as well. Had I headed straight to the Lord and His Word, I could have averted much unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Proverb 3:5-7 NLT, Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This was my first favorite portion of scripture. But, it was too late. I had let these thoughts in, and they were stuck in my brain. Fortunately, God would have mercy on me and come to my rescue.
Every year through my son’s high school and college days, there would be at least one event in which I would emerge a hero. Whatever rabbit I pulled out of my hat, to fix a problem or come up with money at the last minute, I would always say, “This cinched my mother of the year award.” We would laugh together while he showed his gratitude with one of his famous bear hugs. Then life would go on.
This ended when he graduated from college, choosing to make his home in Virginia, 315 miles away. The life I had known and loved would never be the same.
Much to my delight, an opportunity came just on the heels of that graduation. His call was to ask me to be his pit crew for his first ultra marathon. I was the most excited mama in the world.
I knew this was a gift from God. and I was grateful. Yet I did not ask Him for the wisdom and direction I needed. Instead, I leaned on my own understanding, causing myself much anxiety.
Weeks later, shortly before the event, Jeremiah told me his friend Chris would be with me for the first half of the race. Then Chris would be his pacer, running with him for the remainder to keep him motivated and focused.
Chris was a seasoned ultra runner and pit crew person. As we worked together for the first 18 hours of the race, he taught me everything I would need to know when the time came for me to go solo. God was providing exactly what I needed to be equipped for the job. My doubt and worry had been in vain.
The race had begun Friday at 6 pm, in the rain. The rain continued for the first 29 hours before the clouds turned off their faucets. At hour 30, the pit-stop I was waiting at was practically empty, as most runners had already come and gone. In the quiet stillness of the night forest, I heard my name being called. Seconds later, my runner limped into sight, anxiously looking for me. He found a spot in front of a fire pit and dropped to the ground onto his side. He was experiencing pain in his hip and needed my help.
I massaged and stretched him. Fifteen minutes later, he and Chris were on the trail again. I repacked the car and successfully drove around the mountain, in the black of night, to the next stop. Once again, God showed me my fear was unwarranted. He provided me with exactly what I needed to make it from each pit-stop to the next in the dark. He also used my 24 years of experience as a massage therapist to help Jeremiah finish the race.
At the thirty-three hour mark, approximately 3 am Sunday morning, my son crossed the finish line of that 106 mile journey. My heart was dancing as I watched. I could not put words to the jumble of thoughts and feelings crashing through me. I gave him a silent hug. It never entered my mind to mention a mother of the year award. It was not me that should be awarded. God deserved all the glory for this victory. Not just for Jere’s success, but also mine.
God had used this journey to humble me. It was clear He had directed my path.
God does not want us to waste precious time and energy on fear and doubt. He wants us to spend that time with Him in prayer and His Word. As Paul tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT.
His word tells us not to fear, but to put our trust in Him. It is always better to put our pride aside and lean on His wisdom. He can see the whole picture, and He already knows the outcome. He provides the best tools, and they are free for the asking. We can rest in the assurance that the answers we need will come at the right time.
And the Lord deserves all the thanks, praise and glory.
“Thank you, thank you,” she cried, and knelt at the Shepherd’s feet. “How good you are. How patient you are. There is no one in the world as good and kind as you. I will go with you to the mountains. I will trust you to make my feet like hinds’ feet, and to set me, even me, upon the High Places.” Much Afraid to the Shepherd. Hinds Feet for High Places.