Drawing Near to Jesus
Training for a race like an Ironman is the perfect place for God to reveal Himself so clearly. As I look back on what I journaled about in my experience, I wanted to share what God taught me as I neared the end of training.
In the midst of training for an Ironman I came upon injury after injury. My body was being pushed so hard with this training that it was tired. So very tired. I was in the last chunk of tough training. It required hours a day of swimming, cycling and running. On the weekend it would consume about 5 hours on a Friday and 7 hours on a Saturday. I have become very strong but also been pushed to the limit. Between my Half Ironman in the fall and my Full Ironman in May, I had been training intensely for almost a year. I prayed constantly to be healed from my injuries so that I could keep training and race completely healthy. God brought scripture to my mind as I called out to Him. We read stories in the Bible about people having so much faith that if they just touch Jesus they would be healed.
In Matthew 9 we read, “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, “your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.” In Matthew 14 we see the faith that many people had: “And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” In Mark 1 we read a story about Jesus healing a man with leprosy just by touching him, “A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, ‘If you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.”
These people knew that if they just touched Jesus they would be healed from serious, lifelong illnesses. They did anything they could to be close to Jesus. They had faith. They just wanted to touch Him. So I thought, what if we lived like that? What if we had faith like that? What if we lived seeking to draw so close to Jesus with full confidence that He would heal us? Even more than that, what if we wanted to draw so near to Jesus to become more like Him? What if we wanted to be so close to Him just to spend time with Him? There are seasons in my life when I am on fire for the Lord, desiring to know Him so much more and digging into the Word. But I also go through seasons where I don’t desire to know Him more or I become complacent. How different would my life be if lived like the people in the stories when Jesus was on this Earth? I would love people better, serve endlessly, have compassion on people, not worry, trust in Him fully, be joyful always, overflow with love and scripture to pour on people. I would want to spend time with my Father as much as possible. I want that passion for the Lord all of the time! Being pushed to the limit physically grows you even more than you can imagine emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically!