I promised my friends I would write about the time I ran with Jesus, because it is a sweet and funny reminder that He is always with us.
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:20 (ESV)
A couple years ago, I was training for a relay run in the heat. This meant that rather than trying to run early in the morning before it got too hot, I was trying to run in the afternoon in the hottest part of the day. And not just short little runs, but longer distances. In the heat. On this particular day, it was blazing hot and I was fading. Overheated and overtired, I prayed and prayed that Jesus would be with me. Feeling like I would either pass out or throw up. Or both. I kept saying, “I can’t do this alone, Lord, I’m going to need Your legs to help me finish.” I kept pushing forward saying, “on Your legs Lord, not on mine.”
When I had about one mile to go, I looked over, and I don’t know if it was a vision, I had become completely delusional from the heat, or He was actually there, but running right next to me was Jesus. I didn’t physically reach out to touch Him, but He was right there. Running next to me. He was wearing a robe and sandals, His skin was glistening with sweat. He looked over and said to me, in a voice I heard as plain as day, “You’re really going to make me do this with you?” Was I really having an actual conversation with Jesus? While running down the road on a hot summer day? Definitely. With a sly smile I answered under my breath, “Well maybe if You weren’t in a robe and sandals, if You’d worn shorts and running shoes, this wouldn’t be so hard.” And we had a good laugh, the two of us. And finished the run together. Side by side. Running in the heat of the day. I couldn’t see Him anymore, but I could sense that He was still right there next to me until I took that very last step.
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God. . . And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.” ~Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message, emphasis mine)
And right alongside me. Which put me in a place of honor too. Running with Jesus. To the exhilarating finish. With Him.