Running as a Life-Changing Grace
Guest Blog by Rebecca George
Leaves crunched under my feet as I ran, through labored breathing, at a park that has seen me log thousands of miles in the course of my life. It’s close to my parents’ home in east Tennessee and on a crisp fall day, I was thankful to be in the great outdoors. There was only one problem. It wasn’t as easy as it used to be.
Praying as I continued slugging through the four-mile route, I talked to the Lord a lot about how I was less than thrilled that I couldn’t run as fast as I once could. As I broke to a walk to let my heart rate come down, He reminded me, “Rebecca, you can hold both grace and self-discipline at the same time.” Having to walk didn’t mean I was a failure. It also didn’t mean that I needed to stop and choose to not finish just because I couldn’t move at a certain pace.
A Disciplined Grace Sets Its Own Pace
We see a real case for both self-discipline and grace in scripture. The problem is that, on this side of eternity, we like to oppose them. We live in extremes, thinking we either have to muster up all the gumption to “do all the things” or we live with no accountability and lean into a version of “self-care” that really is simply a label for delayed obedience (did I really say that out loud?!). What if there is a better narrative?
We see in Scripture that we are to do all things to the glory of God (see 1 Corinthians 10:31). The Christ follower should exercise self-control and remember that we do not run aimlessly, unaware of our true calling. No, we run with our head held high, eyes fixed on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (see 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 and Hebrews 12:1-2). Self-discipline bears evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and should be something we continually ask God to expand our capacity for as we obey Him.
That said, we will have moments where we need to show ourselves grace. Often, we are the first to extend it and the last to receive it. It is crucial for us to remember that God is infinite, and we are finite. He is our limitless King of the Universe, while we wrestle with very real limits on this side of eternity. We must remember Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Giving God All You’ve Got
In our weak moments, His power is made perfect in our weakest places. There is grace for the weary and the “not yet accomplished” dream. And yet, when we have clarity from God in our next steps, let’s run toward Him with all we’ve got. It is possible to hold both grace and self-discipline as we move forward in our journey!
INTRODUCING THE FINDING GRACE IN YOUR JOURNEY GUEST BLOG SERIES
This is the first in the FINDING GRACE IN YOUR JOURNEY Guest Blog Series. Each month, I’ll be introducing you to a special friend who will be sharing the sacred spaces where they have found grace in their journey. This month’s guest is Rebecca George. She just released an amazing book, Do The Thing: Gospel-Centered Goals, Gumption, and Grace for the Go-Getter Girl that you will want to read. In fact, I’ll be giving away a copy on Instagram soon, so follow both Rebecca and me for your chance to get a copy for yourself.
“Rebecca George is an encouraging voice in your ear to say, ‘Let’s not waste another minute of the all-too-brief time we have on this side of eternity.’ She shows you how to pursue your goal with grace and confidence.”
A Note from Amy Elaine
How do you like the brand-new website? I’m beyond thrilled to invite you into my newly designed website. Angela and her amazing team at Journey Websites did an incredible job helping me create a new home for AmyElaine.com. I’d love to have you take a little self-tour and let me know what your favorite things are on the site. We worked really hard behind the scenes to make this place feel like a wilderness retreat for you. Look around. You never know what you might find to inspire you on your Journey with Jesus.
The wilderness isn’t the wasteland like the enemy wants you to believe…it’s a wonderland filled with the goodness of God.
~ Amy Elaine Martinez
Friend, what’s holding you back from pursing your dreams? Fear? Doubt? Discouragement? FEAR can be paralyzing, but it doesn’t have to stop you. We talked about defending your destiny and becoming a Go-Getter on The Grace Frontier Podcast recently. Listen in to hear a few acronyms for the word FEAR; there’s more than just the false evidence appearing real one.
Also, Mother’s Day is this coming weekend. Here’s a link to another special guest blog from my agent Blythe Daniel. She wrote a devotional book, I Love You, Mom, with her mom. It’s a beautiful gift book.
I’m wishing you a wonderful weekend no matter what your circumstances. Whether you’re a mom, mentor mom, step-mom, a soon-to-be, or want-to-be mom or maybe you’re missing your mom, I’m praying sweet comfort over you this weekend. This will likely be my last Mother’s Day with my mama who is in hospice. While I was feeding her today, I broke down in tears and had to leave the table and let my dad take over for a moment. This time is sacred; it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever walked through…yet. My heart is really raw and your prayers are appreciated. Thanks for being here.
Until next time, sweet friend. Happy trails to you.
© Amy Elaine Martinez, The Grace Frontier Podcast, and AmyElaine.com, 2016-2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Elaine Martinez, The Grace Frontier Podcast, and AmyElaine.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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