Enduring the Heat
"If it is possible, as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:18-21
During my running days, Sonya and I found ourselves this one summer pounding the streets of Albertville intent on building our 'heat endurance'. Almost everyday of the week at two o'clock in the afternoon in the August Alabama heat we were running.
Now, I'm not going to lie, with sweat beads collecting on my forehead, running down my face and dripping of the tips of my fingers, Sonya would have to remind me of the importance of this exercise from time to time while we were out and I took her word for it as graciously as I could, knowing the results I would gain after the month of training in this way.
Heat endurance running is for athletes who want to improve their running skills in all types of weather and conditions. It takes you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to work harder in a climate that is already taxing. Running in the heat is mentally troublesome and just plain hard (just ask me). We are fortunate to have bodies that adapt pretty quickly to our surroundings to not only survive but thrive in extreme environments. Well, I survived that August, and thankfully felt stronger in my more ordinary runs.
As I think over the past year and all we have gone through (some more than others) I believe we are being put through the fire (our heat endurance run). We are being tested and reminded of who we are and Whose we are. We (as Christians) are expected to be a certain way; act and react a certain way. The world as we know it is very different than just a short year ago. It has been a testing of our faith, to say the least, and we need to evaluate where we are and how we will move forward with our daily lives.
The scripture above tells us exactly how we are to live and be and act. As a Christ-follower we are to come out of our time of testing holding the aroma of Christ. We are peace-making, humble people of God. Scripture says we are to heap coals of fire on men not throw fire at them. Our promise as Christ abiding citizens is to be a testimony of love. So let's wipe the sweat from our brow and influence the world with grace and kindness just as Jesus did.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, May we seek You first. Through the testing of our faith may we come out stronger and wiser, ready to face any circumstance with love, being gracious to those who don't know You so that they may come to know You through our acts of kindness. Help us to bend our knees more quickly and pray harder for our country. God bless us! In Jesus' name. Amen.