Thursday, September 1, 2016

Let the weak say, I am strong!

God is our strength, our rock and fortress. If we put our FAITH and TRUST in him, he will STRENGTHEN us.  In our weakness he is strong. 

Let’s quickly look at Judges 16:26.  

Then Samson said to the lad who held him by the hand, "Let me feel the pillars which support the temple, so that I can lean on them."  27 Now the temple was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there -- about three thousand men and women on the roof watching while Samson performed.  28 Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, "O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!"  29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars which supported the temple, and he braced himself against them, one on his right and the other on his left.  30 Then Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines!" And he pushed with all his might and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life. 

You see, Sampson knew that when he prayed to God for strength, he would indeed receive it! Although Sampson was blind and had been ridiculed, he gained strength from God. In our Christian walk, we need to remember that it doesn’t matter how badly we are beaten physically or mentally, we just need to pray to God for strength and have faith that we will receive it!  

29 He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength.  31 But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up as eagles; they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not be faint or become tired. Isaiah 40:29&31

It’s February 2016 and I am 3 months post double ACL and Meniscus repair surgery. I’m standing at the track about to run for the first time on a cold winter, misty day. It’s quiet and I can feel my heart beating strong; I’m shaking and I feel weak. I look to heaven through the mist and ask God for strength.  Through faith, I begin to run slowly…I think,”I’m running!” However, I feel as if someone just pushed me forward as my flesh didn’t feel ready!  I ran for only a minute then took my first walk break. With renewed enthusiasm after that first day, I kept at it one day at a time over the next several months, with PATIENCE and a spirit of thanksgiving, getting stronger and stronger.

Looking back, I had double ACL and Meniscus repair surgery Nov. 23rd 2015. My right ACL was torn as a teenager, 25 years ago and I never knew about it until I tore my right meniscus in 2014; I was four days from running a 100 mile race in Utah when I tore my right meniscus. The surgery to repair the right meniscus ended up being cancelled by my previous surgeon; I never agreed to repair the right ACL.  I then tore my left ACL and meniscus during a crossfit workout almost a year ago. Both knees did get a little better and I was able to run again, but not to my standard. God gave me the gift of running; however he didn’t give me this gift to only run in pain.  It was during a 7mile run in October of 2015 that I finally had an awakening of my injuries. I realized that my running potential was not a lousy 7 mile run that really didn’t go well. That day, I called the knee doctor. I was referred to a new surgeon who suggested that I have both knees operated on. I needed to do the right one as well because I had arthritis setting in and having surgery would slow it down.  He suggested that I do the surgeries at the same time and that I needed to be very strong because it would be tough for awhile. I agreed to do both surgeries and my surgery was in 1 week. After speaking to few people who had gone through just one ACL repair surgery, I started questioning the doctor’s plan and even called and asked the receptionist if he had ever done a double ACL and meniscus repair before.  

After the surgeries, that first week was the toughest time of my life. For the first 2 weeks, I was required to lie down for 23 hours a day, not an easy task for someone who is as active as I. I would lie on the couch, crying in pain, hoping for the time to quickly pass so that I could take 2 more Oxycodone, Tramadols and 3 Ibuprofen. I’d take them all early as I convinced myself that they would take 45 minutes to take effect anyway. I was heavily medicated and it never seemed to help. I was never comfortable. Sleeping was horrible, the first few days, I slept on a recliner. I eventually moved to the bed, but had to sleep on top of the bed with a blanket because getting into the covers annoyed my knees. Walking to the bathroom was painful with each step and it took so long to get anywhere.  I’d pray for healing and I would often imagine myself dancing and running.  Slowly, I healed. Looking back, 41 weeks post surgery, I’d do it again.

Running truly is a gift and I am only successful because of God’s Grace.  I cannot do it without him. In 1 week, I will compete in a ½ ironman and at the end of October; I will make my comeback into the Ultramarathon world and run a 50K. My right knee feels as if nothing happened and my left gets a little achy, but is okay. 

                                              Let the weak say, "I am strong!" Joel 3:10
If you feel weak and need God’s strength, turn to him with your arms open wide and say father, “I am weak, and you are strong. I cannot get through this without you. You are my strength. Help me. Make me strong where I am weak!” 

God wants to have a relationship with you. You are not a mistake. You are not here to live life miserably. He loves you and will never forsake you. He wants to bless you in so many ways. He will make you strong and you will soar like Eagles.  Say yes to him today. 

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