I was nervous.
So nervous that the butterflies were fluttering, my laugh was a bit forced, and my insides were just short of churning.
It was the morning of my first Tough Mudder race. As I stood waiting for the mud run to begin, the thoughts in my brain tumbled around and threatened to join forces with the butterflies in my stomach.
Why did I sign up for this?
12 miles and dozens of obstacles.
In the mud????
I’m never going to make it. I may as well quit now.
“Is this your first Tough Mudder?” a woman clad in black leggings (and a black tutu!) asked me.
“Yes, and I’m a little nervous,” I confessed.
“Oh, you’re gonna do fine! You’ll love it!” she grinned and left to join her running mates (also wearing black tutus). 🙂
In the minutes leading up to the beginning of the race, it happened several times. Men and women who had run the race before assured me that I would have tons of fun and I’d make it to the end.
By the time it was my turn to start, confidence had shooed away most of the butterflies.
Because those who had gone before took the time to assure me everything was going to be okay.
Life is full of hard things. Really, really hard things.
Vows are broken and families are shattered. Disease strikes and bodies decay. Jobs are lost and dreams are destroyed. Accidents happen and loved ones are torn from us.
I would dare to say that every single person reading this has gone through at least one major life crisis.
You felt the heartbreak and you cried the tears. You picked up the pieces and kept walking. You trusted God and He got you through.
But what now? What does God want you to do?
He wants you to pass on the comfort He gave you in your days of heartbreak. He wants you to bless others as you have been blessed.
“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” (II Corinthians 1:3-4)
Look around in your church, your workplace, your community. You will quickly find hurting people–people that need the healing you have found in Jesus.
People are looking for authentic hope. They want to hear from someone who’s been there.
The woman just diagnosed with breast cancer wants to talk to someone who knows what chemo feels like.
The man recently laid off from his job wants to speak to someone who has searched for work while the bills pile up.
The young couple weeping in an empty nursery want to be held in the arms of those who have been devastated by that same pain.
They all want to know the same thing–that they are going to make it through to the end of the race.
If God has brought you through a trial, a heartache, a crisis, you have been given a unique gift.
The gift of being able to say:
I’ve been there. I know it’s hard. But God brought me through, and He will do the same for you.
I know it’s not a gift you would have chosen–this gift of living through the pain so that you can comfort others.
But it’s a gift that should never be wasted.
If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back–
‘Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if perchance, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.
Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn;
That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the air was very still.
Oh, friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.
But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s sin-darkened sky–
If you have gone a little way ahead, oh, friend, call back–
‘Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.