It was a warm, but cloudy Sunday afternoon. After spending the morning at church and then enjoying lunch at home with my little family of three, I carried on with the normal routine of attempting to put my son down for a midday nap.
Once my little one was slumbering away in toddler dreamland, I quickly changed into my running gear and laced up my running shoes. I peered out the window noticing the rain clouds were starting to move in.
No biggie—If I hurry I’ll beat the storm. Besides, this is one of the few times this stay-at-home-mama can go for a daytime run. My husband is home and able to hold down the fort while I sneak out for a little exercise—nothing is getting in my way today.
I gave my husband a quick kiss good-bye and tip-toed out the front door being cautious to not wake my son. I gazed up at the overcast sky.
Hmm, this might be a mistake.
Even though the sky was gloomy, I decided to take a chance and carry on.
It was refreshing to be outside, alone, away from mamahood for a short time, breathing in some fresh air and feeling the stress leave my body with each stride I took. However, I couldn’t help but notice the dreary storm clouds ahead. As I made my way up the steepest hill of my run, the wind started to blow and a light drizzle trickled overhead.
A little rain isn’t going to hurt me. After all, a few raindrops on a run are actually kind of nice.
But the omniscient clouds ahead looked like they were filled with more than just a few rain drops. At that point, a logical person would have just turned around and headed back home. That would have been the smarter, safer thing to do. But the determined and slightly stubborn side of me decided to keep going.
I approached the top of the hill and turned the corner. And then what I feared started to happen. What was a calm rain shower, turned into a fierce dumping of moisture. As the water splashed across my face I tried to run a little faster but the wind kept pushing me around.
The rain got heavier and heavier—right at the point where there was no place to take shelter. Water was gushing down from the sky landing hard on every part of my body and blurring my vision. And it was piercingly painful.
What in the world did I get myself into. I should have turned around.
Then I heard thunder and it about shook the ground.
Okay God, I’m sorry for my stubbornness. I ignored the weather forecast you painted in the sky. But this rain is really hurting me and I can barely see. Please have mercy and calm this rain down. And please oh please don’t let it hail on me. Just get me home safely.
Then another runner passed me, doing her best to run through the not-so-ideal weather conditions. And I saw a few cyclists make their way through the rain too.
Well at least I’m not the only crazy one out here on this cold, wet path.
I dashed around the corner to the downhill portion of my run—the home stretch. My clothes were glued to my body and my shoes were like water-bottles. Not the enjoyable, stress-relieving run that I was anticipating. I ran as quickly as my drenched body would let me go. Streams of water were flowing in the street and I muddled through sloppy puddles. The rain didn’t let up. Not one bit. It steadily kept coming.
As I turned the very last corner of my run a glorious sight was in view—home sweet home. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Normally I would stop and walk to cool down. But not that day. I kept running as fast as I could and didn’t stop till I reached my front door.
Dripping with water, I opened the door and stepped into a cozy, dry, and quiet house. My son was still peacefully snoozing and my Husband was there to welcome me with a smile and a warm blanket.
Home never felt so good as it did that day.
What was supposed to be a short peaceful run, turned into more of a grueling race to get home as fast as my legs would get me there. The warning signs were there but I overlooked them.
As I reflected upon my running adventure, I was reminded that often faith in the Lord requires us to step out into the unknown, not knowing if we will collide with a storm or with sunny skies. While I don’t advise that it’s a good idea to go out for a run when thunder clouds are rolling in, when it comes to our spiritual journies sometimes God will call us to embrace soaking wet faith—moments where we’d rather turn around and head back towards safer ground.
The road Jesus traveled wasn’t easy—it was the road less traveled. It wasn’t the safe road. It wasn’t the comfortable road. But it was the road that paved the way for us to have abundant and everlasting life.
If we want to follow Him, then we have to be prepared to travel a similar road. There will be blue sky days, but at some point the rain clouds will roll in—and those are often the moments that test our faith the most. Will we run in the other direction out of fear, or will we allow our faith to soak in the lesson of the storm as we run toward the One who promises to be with us every step of the way?
I probably should have rescheduled my run on that Sunday afternoon or at least taken some rain gear along. But I learned a lesson that day. As the rain pounded down on my head, and the lightening lit up the sky, and the thunder echoed in the background…I clung to my faith and reached toward the One who after all was in charge of that rainstorm. I prayed that He would get me home safely.
And soaking wet faith led me home that day.
If the Lord graciously protects us in times that aren’t exactly His leading like my run, won’t He protect us all the more in times when He calls us to step out in faith, trusting that He will eventually lead us home?
For those of us who have chosen to put our trust in the Lord, that’s where we’re headed—home. For those who haven’t, why not today? The invitation is open to all.
Why not let soaking wet faith lead you home.
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