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5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 13)

I love getting my daily run in first thing in the morning, but some days it is hard to wake up…

We got home last night after a full day of driving and had an epic family feast (frozen pizza) at 10pm. We unpacked and settled in for bed after that. I believe I got to sleep around 12:30am. At 4:05am my alarm was letting me know it is time to get back up.

No, thank you.

Okay, fine.

I got up, got dressed, and drove to my brother’s house for an interesting morning run.

You know it’s going to be a great run when your running partner, who is holding a pile of yard signs, hands you a stack of orange cones and says, “Hold these… we’re going to need them.”

We ran an interesting 8 miles around Wooster, stopping every once in a while to place a sign or set out orange cones. We were marking the course for the Wooster WooDu duathlon event. It was a great run, but it’s not an every-day type of run for me. I can’t remember the last time that I ran with a pile of orange cones in my hands, nor the last time that I ran while avoiding the sharp edge of my running partners’ yard sign stakes…

With the different stops and seemingly random figurings (though I’m sure they were not random at all), we ran for a total of 8.1 miles at an average pace of 8:26 per mile (sometimes I paused my Garmin when we stopped, and other times I just let it roll…) for a total of 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 54 seconds.

In the end, I was glad that I woke up to run!

When I neared home, I saw my beautiful bride dressed in her running clothes, patiently waiting for me at the end of our drive.

Time for run #2!

My watch died towards the end of the run, so all of the run that I have logged is 2.6 miles at a 10:00 per mile pace for a total run time of 26 minutes and 3 seconds. Jodi had her Garmin watch on, and it didn’t die. According to her watch, we made it for 3.1 miles at an average pace of 9:58 per mile (we got faster as we went) for a total time of 30 minutes and 57 seconds.

Today’s Bible reading (Mark 9-11) contains one of my favorite phrases in all of Scripture. Starting in verse 14, Mark begins to tell about a boy who is severely demon-possessed. The boy’s father approaches Jesus, no doubt having heard of other times when Jesus had successfully cast out demons:

And Jesus asked [the boy’s] father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” – Mark 9:21-23

As a father myself, I feel like I can sense the desperation in the father’s words.

“If you can do anything…” Certainly the father wants his son to be completely healed, but he would accept any form of progress whatsoever. “If you can do anything…”

“…have compassion on us and help us.” Maybe sometimes we are at our best when we are at the end of our ropes. Too many times we proudly lift our own heads, puff up our own chests and declare, “I’ve got this!” Here the father knows better. In essence he says, “I need your help!”

“‘If you can’!” Jesus points directly to this man’s lack of faith. “What do you mean, ‘If you can’?!

“All things are possible for one who believes.” Jesus is proclaiming that the request is not too difficult of a task for him. The father simply needs to believe it is possible. It is at this point that one of my favorite phrases in all of Scripture erupts onto the page:

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” -Mark 9:24

“I believe; help my unbelief!” This phrase so completely captures how I feel throughout so much of my walk with Christ. I believe! I really do.

I believe in Jesus. I believe that he was born of a virgin, that he is the Son of God, that he lived a sinless life, that he suffered and died for me to take away my sins so that I could be with him forever in heaven. I believe that God raised him from the grave and that he is alive forever and that he is coming back again to judge the living and the dead. I believe that there is NOTHING impossible for God.

At the very same time, I struggle with unbelief. I wonder if God really cares. I wonder if he even knows what I am going through, or if he really has a way through it. I wonder if he is big enough to handle all of my worries and fears about tomorrow.

I believe; help my unbelief!

You know what I have found? He does.

Not only can he handle all of the worries and wonderings that I have listed above, but he can handle me being honest about it.

Sometimes our best posture is to allow God himself to lift our heads up, to fill our lungs with the air that he freely gives, and declare, “I know that You’ve got this!”

Sometimes our best posture is to simply and honestly say, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

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16 thoughts on “5k Every Day in the Month of May 2017 (Day 13) Leave a comment

  1. Both 3s in this morning. Thanks, Jeff, for sharing your thoughts on that phrase, “I believe; help my unbelief.” Your thoughts certainly resonate with me!

  2. We woke up to do our run this morning but decided to wait until after work when it would be warmer and we would be less tired. We decided to take a friend’s dog with us on our run. That was a bit of an adventure when another dog decided to chase the dog we had for about a half mile. It was a fun run though, and our time was 26:26 (8:32/mile pace).

    The story of the rich young man always makes me step back and think about how this should impact my life. Am I actually willing to give up all material possessions to follow Jesus? It’s hard to keep the perspective that this life is really just a vapor, and treasure in heaven is so so much more valuable than treasure on earth. Unfortunately, my sinful mind sees the here and now and too often desires worldly treasure. I trust that the holy spirit will continue prodding me and pointing out my sin, so I would not go away sorrowful like the rich young man but that I would take delight in storing treasure in heaven.

    • Haha. That’s one I have not tried. None of my runs this year have been dog runs. You are brave! Thanks for sharing about the rich young ruler. That is a great challenge for all of us to consider!

  3. Thanks for sharing Sheldon what stuck out to you. Some stories I read and keep going and don’t put I in the story. Thanks.

    My run today was on the trail. I like the idea of flat. I had a 8:37 pace today.

    While listening to these chapters all I could think of was jealousy and arrogance. We read about the disciples arguing who’s the greatest then James and John wanting to sit on his left and right side and once the others heard it seemed to stir things.
    At the end of chapter 11 we read about the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. When Jesus asked them was the baptism of John from heaven or earth? They didn’t want to give a answer because they knew they would have another question from Jesus and if they said from man they would have people upset. It’s amazing how the religious leaders did not like Jesus to me.

    • Good run. Way to keep going! I am also amazed by the religious rulers, especially. They had to know that they were being dumb. Not liking someone is one thing, but refusing to answer like that and conspiring to actually KILL Jesus -there are just no words for it.

  4. Today was crazy. Got up early to meet friends for our last ride together. Came home and unloaded my horse and quickly headed to Columbus to see another friend. Came home at 11:00 pm. Didn’t think I’d get my run in, just wanted to go to bed. Wow! It was one of my best runs and I got to watch the moon rise! I didn’t believe I could do it, help my unbelief 🙂

    • I’m always inspired when people go running that late to keep a goal! It always makes me wonder if I would do the same that late….. Great job!

      • It wasn’t easy, but once I was out I really enjoyed it. Except for the raccoons that decided to fight and scared the life out of me when I was close to them. Lol

  5. Got a brisk morning run done around Kidron. I believe it was 29:01 for 3.12 miles – hey, that’s “slightly” more than a 5K! – and I think the pace was around 9:18. I think I’ve hit a mid-May slump with my legs, but they are chugging along still. Randy ran 4.3 miles in 38:07 with pace of 8:41.

    What you wrote about that particular passage is exactly how I also feel with belief/unbelief. I love that passage also. The one thing I saw today that I’m not sure I noticed before was Jesus adding the word “persecution” in when he was talking about what they would gain if they were willing to leave everything and follow Him. It can seem like the most foolish thing sometimes!! Like….”Hey, this is a great idea! Follow Jesus and live a life of persecution. But don’t worry – afterward if you believe in Him, you get eternal life!” It just doesn’t always seem to have this great selling point. (And I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’ve had to face persecution!) But I’ve seen when faith is lived out, when faith carries me thru some very dark days, when things happen that are either an absolutely amazing perfectly timed coincidence OR more likely an absolutely amazing perfectly knowing God, and I get a glimpse of His love for me even in the small things, it is worth it. Jesus promised persecution and troubles so they will come. And hopefully as I walk thru each thing, it just draws me nearer to Him.

  6. Great run in tonight, even shared a short portion of the run with my daughter, a teenager that is testing my faith. A hearty AMEN to the “I believe; help my unbelief!”.

    • Haha. I shouldn’t laugh about the teenage daughter testing your faith part… I’ll be there soon enough. That is cool that you got to share a bit of the run together! I’m hoping for that to happen at our house today for “Sunday Fun Day Family Run Day”!!!

  7. After 5 miles on it Friday I was finally able to get off the treadmill this weekend. 5 in Fredericksburg on Sat and 16.5 on the track at Hiland Sunday.
    I Like the persistence of the people seeking healing and restoration. They were turned away and told to be quiet and told that they couldn’t be healed and yet they yelled and prayed and pursued until Jesus delivered them.

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