When We Are Slowed to a Stop
By Meg Bucher
“I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.” - Galatians 2:2b NIV
The empty pages of my running journal smelled like a slice of heaven. I couldn’t wait to fill them with miles and routes, splits and workouts. But it wouldn’t be that way, not this time. This time, my twenty-year-old running injuries would catch up to me, resurfacing and lingering.
Today’s verse speaks of running, a hobby close to my heart, a very big part of who I am. It was only in learning to let it go that I realized I could survive without it. I’m learning, as I walk with Christ, that I can survive without anything but Him. In Greek (the language the New Testament is written in), “to run” is the word “trecho.”
According to Strong's Concordance, 'trecho' means to exert one’s self and strive hard. The word occurs in Greek writings to denote extreme peril, which requires the exertion of all one’s effort to overcome.
This kind of striving is the opposite of passivity. In Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary, trechō means “to run” in both a physical sense and a figurative sense. Trechō is used several times to picture the Christian life in the sense of running toward a goal (1 Cor. 9:26c; Gal 2:2; 5:7; Phil 2:16; Heb 12:1). Passivity is not a virtue in the Christian life.
Passivity is taking all of the wisdom God’s given us throughout our trials, and suppressing it. Barreling on with one solution after the next …none of them working. While Jesus waves His hand in front of our faces to stop, passivity is thinking that we can fix everything without Him.
Walking with Christ is hard. We get knocked down, stripped of things that we identify with and felt once identified us. People leave our lives. Death is an everyday reality. And if we can’t find God in those situations, we have fallen victim to a passive attitude about who God is and what He promises.
He is good. And He knows what’s good for us. His plan for us is good. The way we identify ourselves is not always the same way He sees us. Being open to His version of who were made to be and what we are here to accomplish starts by believing in Jesus. Walking with Him doesn’t always make sense to us, but we can trust that we are being made holy, one stride at at time, until we break the tape in heaven.
Father, Praise You for our losses and our trials. Thank You for the things You strip from us that we think we need more than You. Forgive our flipped perspective of control, and bless us to lift it entirely up to You.
In Jesus’ Name,