A big shout out to our teammates, Jerry and Nancy who are celebrating their 40th anniversary today. What a great accomplishment! I was thinking about what it takes to acheive such a lofty goal. I'm sure that many, if not most couples believe they will make it to their 40th anniversary, but unfortunately, few do. So what does it take to stay married for so long? I'll bet Jerry and Nancy would agree that one of the most important elements in a successful, long term marriage is GRACE. Grace shown to one another and God's grace as well.
We all mess up. We all say or do things we regret. It's grace that allows us to get past the hurt, forgive and move on. It's grace that allows us to endure. Whether in a marriage relationship, a difficult work situation, tight finances or even a difficult run - grace can be the key that keeps us pushing forward instead of giving up. And when our supply of grace runs out, God's grace is only barely tapped.
The song "He Giveth More Grace" was written by a woman named Annie Johnson Flint. She probably understood more about endurance and grace than most of us ever will. Both of Annies parents died before she was six years old. A wonderful, kind couple adopted her but by the time she was entering her teenage years she had developed severe arthritis and before long she wasn't even able to walk. Her dream had been to play the piano, but it soon became apparent that her illness wouldn't allow her to play. Instead she wrote poetry, eventually typing with her knuckles because of the arthritis crippling her hands. One would expect after all the setbacks and difficulties, Annie would have just given up or blamed God for all of the trials she had faced. Not only did she continue to endure, she wrote this most amazing poem / song about grace.
"He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength as our labors increase; To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, to multiplied trials He multiplies peace. His love has no limits, His grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men; For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again. When we have exhausted our store of endurance, when our strength has failed ere the day is half done, when we reach the end of our hoarded resources, Our Father's full giving is only begun."
When we are facing a challenge or trial, it's so helpful to remember the extent of God's grace. It's also encouraging when we see grace and endurance evidenced as in a successful, long term marriage.
When you join the CRT you will see example of real people struggling with real challenges - but you will also see living and breathing evidence of God's grace. We would love to have you come and join us. We will be back to our normal training schedule this week. All of our runs this week will begin and end at the parking lot at Clearwater trail off Jasper Road. On Wednesday we will meet at noon. On Saturday we will meet at 9 am and on Sunday we will meet at 3 pm.
I hope to see you out there this week.
Have a great week!