Soaring, Running, and Walking- Where are you?

I love the verse Isaiah 40:31

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

John Ortberg gives some insight about this verse in his book, *If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat.  He says, “We must live these words- soaring, running, walking- one line at a time.”

Sometimes in life, we will find ourselves in a season where we are soaring.

John calls this, “spiritual soaring,” when “God is answering your prayers with extravagant generosity, using you in ways that leave you feeling astonished, making you surprisingly productive in your life’s work, and flooding you with strength and wisdom beyond your ability.”

Friend, I want to be Soaring. I want to feel God’s power rise beneath me and propel me to new heights just like an eagle. Soaring is amazing, but it is important to remember John’s advice: “Don’t assume we are soaring in our own strength.” Remember God is helping us soar.

Sometimes we are not soaring, but we are running.

John says, “Your life isn’t feeling effortless. You do not see a lot of miracles, but with persistence and determination, you know you are running your race.  You feel frustration, but you also feel God’s pleasure in your obedience.”  

Friend, are you running and not growing weary?  Are you in this season where you are serving, giving, praying, and faithfully following God?  I love John’s advice for the runners: “Do not compare yourself with someone who is soaring right now.”  Wow- I know I needed those words today.

Sometimes we are not soaring or running, we are just walking.

John shares that “because of doubt or pain or fatigue or failure, all we can do is just walk and not grow faint.”  During this season, “all we can say is God, I’ll hang on. I don’t seem too fruitful or productive, and I don’t feel very triumphant. But I won’t let go, I will obey you. I’ll just keep walking.”

Friend, maybe this describes you. You are walking through a difficult season and it is taking all your effort to just put one foot in front of the other.  Maybe you are leaning on God to help you get through your day.

Wherever you find yourself today, it is okay.  In our Christian walk, I believe we will find ourselves in all three seasons. Sometimes we are soaring like an eagle and living our God given purpose. Other times, we are running, following faithfully after God.  Sometimes we are walking, relying on God to get us through a difficult time.

I think it is important to identify where we are, so we can trust God in that season!  Soaring, Running, and Walking- where are you?

Praying for you today!

Love, Jodi

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Soul-Care is different than Self-Care

A stream leads into a village with clean and clear water. Up in the hills lived a man who was the keeper of the stream.  He kept it clean by removing the trash and fallen branches for the stream.  Honestly, most of his work was unseen.  The town decides to budget cut and this man is let go.  Now the stream was left unattended and branches fell and blocked the flow.  No one noticed immediately in town but over time, the water became dirty and people in town were getting sick.

 “The life of the village depended on the stream, and the life of the stream depended on the keeper. The Stream is Your Soul.  And You are the Keeper!” 

This quote is from John Ortberg’s book, *Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You.  On the Depth podcast, Karen Ehman shared this was one of her life changing books, so I could not wait to read it.  Friends, it has so much depth to it!  I highly recommend it.

“Soul-Care” is different than “Self-Care.” 

Self-Care is taking care of your body by eating healthy and exercising.  Maybe scheduling time to connect with friends or a long hot bubble bath helps free your mind.  Slowing down and taking care of yourself is important.  But as I started to read this book, I realized that “soul-care” is just as important.

In the book, John shares a story where he had hit a low.  He had become increasingly frustrated and impatient, so he drove out to see Dallas Willard, his mentor.  John says, “I was operating on the unspoken assumption that my inner world would be filled with life, peace, and joy once my external world was perfect.”

How many of us have done this same thing?  We think that once our external circumstances slow down or the stresses of life are gone than we can have peace and joy.

I love the advice his mentor shares, “You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.”

Being with God is what brings life and joy to our soul.  

John begins each day with a challenge called the Soul Experiment: “How many moments of my life today can I fill with conscious awareness of and surrender to God’s presence?” 

Friends, let’s exercise some “Soul-Care” and do the Soul Experiment today! 

Remember “The Stream is Your Soul.  And You are the Keeper!” 

Love, Jodi

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