There is always HOPE!

At long last I was able to resume physical activity!  What I thought was an injury to my knee turned out to be  “inflamed cartilage” under the knee cap, and upon seeing a specialist I was given strict orders to REST.  Had I not rested last week, and simply pushed through, the healing process would have taken significantly longer or even worse, I could have done major damage to my knee. My doctor’s diagnosis humbled me, to say the least, as I am generally not an advocate of “putting my feet up.”  I don’t ever want a person to presume I am lazy, so to ensure no one has any reason to think me lackadaisical, I push through pain…always!  In this particular case doing so would have been foolish, not to mention damaging, so, I sat, literally.

rest

Photo borrowed from barefoottriathlete.ca

The only physical training I participated in was upper body weight training and abdominal work.  It was a difficult week, but I learned the value of listening to my body and resting when it shouts, “stop!”  With that said, on Sunday I mowed grass in the afternoon (Side note: my deepest apologies to all of my Northern friends who are having to endure the coldest winter in history, but the truth is, there was grass that needed to be mowed and so I mowed it) and played volleyball for two hours that evening.  My knees were still, clearly, not 100%, so I used my legs quite gingerly.  On Monday I felt like a million bucks!! The weather was in the 70′s and I finally got back on my bike.  It was exhilarating to get back in the saddle and push myself on my bike.  Victoriously, I completed my one hour workout by surpassing my average speed!!! For the last two years, no matter what I have done, I have been unable to cross over that 12mph mark. But I finally did it!  I finished 13.96 miles in 1 hour and 8 minutes and my average speed was 12.2mph.  Fortunately, I looked at my odometer at exactly the 1 hour mark and at that time I had actually had an averaged a speed of 12.5mph.  On the trek home I had to stop at a couple of stop signs, which reduced my average speed. Not to worry, I was ecstatic to finally cross over that threshold!  Tuesday brought another beautiful day, and so I put on my kicks and ran/walked around town for 46 minutes.  My knees were still a bit tender so I didn’t push it, but I still completed 3 1/4 miles.  Surely that is better than nothing!

Have you ever striven to reach a goal and no matter what you did, you never got there?

It happens, and it is very disheartening.  That was me this past two years. I would get on my bike and at the end of the ride, I would be discouraged.  Honestly, there were many days my speed was slower.  What is up with that? Why couldn’t I improve?

I don’t know why discouraging things happen in our lives.

And please note, I am NOT referring to the frustration of being slow on my bike. Not in the least! I am referencing those unfortunate and frustrating times in life when our loved one gets sick, or our kids are struggling, or a relationship goes sour, or we can’t stand to go to work or a child is being bullied or our credit card is maxed out, or we can’t get that loan.  Life can become so discouraging that you don’t even desire to get up in the morning.  This is a surefire sign that Satan is working overtime to push you over the edge. The devil wants you to just give up. DON’T DO IT!

Sometimes life just sucks, period! But God’s Word speaks encouragement!!

Romans 5:2b-5 says, “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Ladies and gentlemen, there is always HOPE!

ALWAYS!

When you feel as if you just want to give up, trust that God will get you through!

He pledged to do so!  He loves you! He never promised that life would be easy and perfectly fabulous at all times, but He does pronounce this,  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Do not be afraid, for I am with you!” (Isaiah 43:1-7)

What blessed assurance! 

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