Come on...run with me a minute.
Thursday morning I woke up with a huge, heavy burden on my heart and all I wanted to do was run. When I run I escape for a little time, I clear my head, I release happy endorphin's, and I spend time learning lessons from God. As soon as my feet hit the pavement my eyes started welling up as my lips started muttering to God that I needed Him. I would dry my eyes quickly as I saw other runners coming my way and I'd just pull away from my feelings for a bit. Then after I trotted a little further I heard that small Voice say..."Top of the Hill". I just laughed to myself. Seriously? I'm supposed to go to the top of the hill? I can barely run on level ground much less up a hill. As I approached another road the Voice grew and grew until I could not deny it. "Top of the hill." it said over and over. So I reluctantly turned towards the hill, the highest in the park, but told myself I was not running up that big hill, I was walking it...and I did.
Along the way I talked to God about the burdens and all the chaos in my head. It became very windy where the road leveled out a bit, I paused, and then I kept climbing. All the while I was searching for Him and listening for the Voice. I got to the top of the hill and looked...nothing...except, there was a trail that went higher so I wasn't at the actual top of the hill, just stopped where the road stopped. So I took the trail taking note that it was unexpected and I didn't know where it led but I'd take it. I climbed until I reached the top and it was a grassy clearing. I went to the center of the clearing to listen and...nothing.
Ugh! I was getting frustrated. I was sure the Voice said to go to the top of the hill. I couldn't have been mistaken, there had to be something for me. I was so frustrated. About the time I decided to go back down I noticed another path. By the looks of it the path would take me back down the hill and it would probably end up at the road where I noticed earlier a path wound around and met the road I'd just come up on. So I thought, I'll go for it. Trail running is fun...I suppose.
As I start to head down, I noticed that the trail took a dip but then rose again and went up, way up. I couldn't have seen that before. I have to admit, I was starting to get uncomfortable with my place in the woods at this point. These woods have always felt a little creepy to me because I don't know them and when I finally, for SURE got to the top of the hill it really was creepy. There was a small opening in the woods and there were monuments on either side of the path. One was particularly tall and at the top was a stone civil war solider standing and looking off into the distance with no nose. He was almost the last straw for me, I wanted to turn and run back down the hill to "safety". Instead I stood still and looked around. I listened and prayed. I felt ...afraid. All sorts of terrible thoughts ran through my head, I could see the headlines now. "They found the woman in the woods and they spotted her by her neon yellow shoes. She had been hacked to bits by what we believe to be as a machete, there must be a murderer on the loose in these woods."
So, to calm my fears I sat down on a monument and put my back flat against it so I felt less exposed on all sides. I took a deep breath and prayed for God to show up. Seriously, I was finally at the top of the hill and this is how I felt? All of the sudden I felt something on my leg. I looked down. It was a tiny tick that I had picked up, a little hitchhiker. I plucked it off and tossed it away and realized that was my lesson. It was all so simple. The calmness I needed came over me and I felt the Voice rise up and say. "What is it you are afraid of? Your mind plays games and tricks on you. You are letting the evil one frighten you when I do not put a spirit of fear in you.".
I felt so safe at that point. I stood up and started walking back down the trail and back down the hill letting the Voice reveal to me the message. See, I was afraid of things that weren't real. I was afraid of things in my head instead of being still and finding peace with Him. Peace was found when I was still and allowed Him to point out and make me aware the real dangers. Once I saw what I was supposed to be aware of, that tiny little tick, I knew that all my other fears were false. That tiny little tick was dangerous. His little bite held poison that could ravage a body. It wasn't the fear of what might be that as dangerous but what I wasn't even aware of that was.
So, because I was still God calmed my fears and opened my eyes and senses to the real danger. That tiny little hitchhiker almost went unnoticed, I almost bolted with fear before ever knowing he was on me. I realize now that the things I'm afraid of are in my head. There are so many things that we worry about daily and don't deal with out of fear. Fear is keeping us from trusting Him and makes us want to bolt instead of be still. So, while the climb was hard and I didn't want to do it, there was a lesson at the top. If I had picked the easy road and not gone up the hill I might not have learned the lesson He wanted to teach me but instead I let the Voice guide me, teach me and grow my knowledge of His wonders.
When I sat down to write this out I opened my Bible and again it opened to the perfect scriptures. Proverbs 8. The whole thing...every word of Proverbs 8 was for me (and you) and this lesson He is teaching us. Here are the most powerful parts to me but I encourage you to open His Word and experience it as a whole.
Do not be afraid. Trust Him, be still, and pray for His wisdom.
From the Bible Gateway, NKJV Proverbs 8.
The Excellence of Wisdom8 Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
4 “To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
5 O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;7 For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
9 They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.