God spoke to me today in such a profound way – He showered me with His love with a true story of triumph. I have been attacked on every side by Satan for so very long that I have just about forgotten that there is more to life than spiritual warfare, and today God knew how much my flesh would love to throw in the towel and give up. So He reigned down His majesty – and words – from heaven.
I am not sure how I managed to get myself, a beach bag with a bowl and jug of water, huge Red the German Shepherd, Angel the miracle dog who has gone from starved and virtually hairless to chubby and more-hair-than-ever, and Winnie in her newly re-vamped wheelchair to the beach. But I did, and along the way, as always, people made their comments. “You’ve got your hands full,” they told me. Yes, I thought, often wondering why people don’t offer to help when they see how many dogs I tend to tote along.
At any rate, when I at last arrived on the gloriously sunny beach, I prepared for Red to pull as he always does, Angel to get tangled as most dogs do when there are so many together, and Winnie to do her usual. Winnie, who lost her back feet in a train wreck, became so well adapted to walking on her two front feet with her body hoisted in the air that the wheelchair has been a struggle.
In fact, even after Maranatha Farm lovingly and graciously re-did her wheelchair just weeks ago, Winnie refused to do anything more than move a little distance at a time. Then, stubborn as always, she would quit before we really got anywhere. Sure, she would go a short distance for a treat – or a pat on the back. But not much more.
Then it happened. The Lord worked His miracle. And, like so many of us who forget just how sovereign God is, I had turned the other way. I am not sure what had caught my attention, but I had altogether forgotten about Winnie. After all, I knew she would not go more than a few feet. More than likely, she would not move at all unless I physically dragged her with a leash.
I turned to the left for some reason, and then I saw it. The miracle. Winnie was GONE! She had seen some birds and taken off at top speed – so fast in fact that I could not catch up with her. She was really running for the very first time in several years (her owner, following the train wreck, had not taken her to the vet and allowed her for a year to walk in her unique way). And, with me for a year, she had only gone short distances – and not particularly fast to say the least (unless, of course, a treat impelled her to hoist and hurry along her body, which she could do remarkably well though I would not have called it an actual run).
Now, right before my very eyes, she was flying at full speed down the beach – so fast, in fact, that I did not know what to do with the other dogs as I realized I would have to race down the beach and retrieve her. Thankfully, she stopped.
And, on my way to get her, I heard the Lord speak to me deep in my heart.
“Don’t give up,” He told me, and I cried.
Right there in public, with people watching Winnie, with people likely watching me, I let the tears flow. I cried because I was so proud of Winnie for not giving up, for taking her first run. I cried because I knew God had given her this miracle.
And I cried because of what the Lord had taught me. Don’t give up.
Sometimes it looks so hard, so brutal, so challenging, so even impossible, that everything in me says GIVE UP, GIVE UP.
In so many ways, I have been the one who could not walk – by faith. I have fallen more times than I could possibly count. I have hoisted my body up and tried to carry on. I have gone such a little distance. I have looked all around me and wondered how I could possibly go on.
And then the Lord has come, as He did today, and set my feet upon the Rock – He has been my wheelchair, and He has given me everything I have needed to go one step further.
But never in a million years have I really believed, deep down within, that I would do anything more than walk a short distance – as Winnie did her first times in the wheelchair.
Winnie did not give up. In fact, today she realized she could fly. And she did.
And in all this the Lord showed me that somewhere in my future, if I do not give up, if I first learn how to walk, if I set myself in His hands as Winnie sits in her wheelchair, that one day I, too, will learn how to fly – just like God intended for me all along.
If I do not give up. I will not just learn how to walk. I will learn how to run.
In the hands of the Lord.
“I will never give up on you,” the Lord told me when I got back to my car with my beach bag, the bowl and jug of water, and three of His miracle dogs.
Thank you, Lord, for never giving up on me.
And please, dear Lord, help me to never give up.
Teach me to run, Lord, teach me to fly.
Just like you intended all along.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.