Place to Run
It's just a plain ordinary
field. Nothing special, in a town that is small and insignificant.
But as life was coming to an
end for my grandmother, she saw them standing out in that
field. Angels. Standing, watching. Angels.
"Who are they?" Grandma
asked as she peered out the window to the fields outside.
my own mom responded. "Ready to take you home."
Something about that field
calls my name -- the grassy field behind my mother's house.
When we were at Shriner's a
few months ago with Jonah, I often thought of that field.
When information about life-threatening diseases and painful
syndromes and constant testing would fill my head and I
wanted to run out the front door, I often would close my
eyes and go to that field. In my mind, I would run at full
speed through the field, burning off energy, burning off
stress and sorrow.
Then, several weeks later in
the hospital with Brooklyn, when she was gasping for breath
and struggling with her heartbeat, I would lie down on my
makeshift bed and close my eyes. Those times of uncertainty
would lead to times of running for me -- running through
that field -- a place of peace for me.
A place of rest. A place to
Do you have a place to run?
There's another place to run
that I find every morning when I first wake up. Sometimes
I don't want to go there at first (why is that?), but I'm
always glad I do. Coming to the kitchen table and opening
up God's Word is strength for me. It's running, in the fresh
sweet dew of morning -- running barefoot, running at full
speed, running carefree.
Do you have a place to run?
Elizabeth must have had a place.
Every Christmas season I take the time to choose a person
from the Christmas story to study. One year I studied Mary.
I followed her every move, her walk with the Lord, her reaction
to the angel, her determination in the face of shame and
humiliation. I marveled at her faith at such a young age.
I learned trust and obedience from her -- true discipleship
as I watched her follow God no matter what, even when her
life was turned upside down.
Another year it was John the
Baptist. I walked in the wilderness with him, cried out
with him -- learning boldness from him as I studied the
way he proclaimed the truth -- even to those who didn't
want to hear. He was different -- strange to many. Yet he
persevered to accomplish the purpose God had for him. Even
though things on earth didn't end well for him.
This year, I have chosen Elizabeth.
I need her this season. You see, I've been struggling with
some things -- I feel like I'm on a teeter totter with God.
One moment I'm willing to trust Him wholeheartedly, even
though my children have diseases, even though I have to
watch Jonah struggling to walk and crying out in pain. There
are times when I handle that with strength and grace.
When the teeter totter is up,
I'm willing to face uncertainty in unemployment. I'm fully
trusting God when Ken can't find a job. I'm strong and unwavering.
When the teeter totter is up,
I can be encouraging to others, strong in spirit, faithful
For the moment.
But sometimes, that teeter
totter comes barreling down. It's like the person on the
other side has jumped off and my side of the teeter totter
comes crashing to the ground -- have you ever experienced
that? The impact is hard and startling, isn't it?
Jonah's debilitating pain gets
me down. Brooklyn's heart problems sadden me. I feel despairing
about our job situation and wonder if we will be able to
pay our bills. How will we pay for Brooklyn's heart medications
if we don't have insurance? It all just seems to crash down
Ever been there?
During these low times, I find
myself meeting God in the early morning, but sitting in
silence. I open my Bible, read a few words…and then? I just
ask Him to hold me -- to give me one verse to hang onto
throughout the day. I gaze out the window at the morning
light and ask Him to sustain me until it gets dark again…one
moment at a time. I know I need to get back into my intercessory
responsibilities. I long for the deep Bible study that I'm
But right now, honestly, I
just want to cry on His shoulder.
Elizabeth must have been that
way! If you will study her life you will see that she deeply
longed for a baby! Something that struck me this week is
that she must have prayed and prayed for a child…
…as I have prayed and prayed
for the healing of my children.
She must have looked into the
Scriptures -- especially since she was the wife of a priest
-- she must have marveled at Hannah's miracle. Surely she
thought that she, too, would receive a child, if only she
would pray in the temple as Hannah did. Surely God would
grant her this request as well. After all, she was the wife
of a priest! She had spent her time ministering to others.
She had been patient with her husband's obligations. She
had spent so much time in church. Surely God would respond
quickly to her request for just one baby…
But He didn't. I'm sure she
didn't understand. I wish I could have walked with her through
this struggle -- just to see how she handled it. Did she
become bitter? Was she angry? Did she ride the same teeter
totter I'm on?
I don't really know. But I
do know that she never turned away from God.
the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named
who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife
Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.
Both of them were upright in the sight of God,
observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly.
I'm still reading about Elizabeth.
There's more to learn, but I will not forget her dogged
devotion to God, even in the midst of her sorrow. She had
no little one to chase in her younger years. She did not
have this in common with the young mothers of her generation.
She must have felt out of place when she was with them --
all of their talk about babies and childbirth…and then she,
a priest's wife, would go home to a quiet house every night
-- a staunch reminder of her unanswered prayers.
Yet she remained upright
in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments
and regulations blamelessly.
We went to my mother's house
this Thanksgiving. We hadn't been there in years! After
many hours of driving, we pulled up to the front door. My
mother was there, clapping her hands and then opening her
arms as my children ran to her.
After the hugs and greetings,
I made my way to the back of my mother's house. I know it
was strange. My family watched in disbelief as I took off
running through that back field.
The wind wiped my tears away
as I ran. Putting my arms up toward heaven, I whooped and
hollered as loudly as I could. I tired quickly -- so weary
from this recent journey. My children squealed in delight
and began to follow me -- most of them running at full speed.
But not Jonah; he watched, smiling.
When we all stopped running,
we laughed together. I made sure that Jonah was with us
as I told them of the field -- the field where the angels
were standing when their Great Grandmother was being called
home -- the field that gave me a place to run even in the
hard times -- even in the sorrow and uncertainties -- even
in the angry times…
Do you have a field? Do you
have a place to run?
Go to your kitchen table this
week. Find your Bible in the early morning. Even if you
don't know what to say, meet Him there. Let Him hold you.
Find your field of rest. Find your place to run.
Elizabeth has much more to
teach us. Let's meet again next week.
They don't know
that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know Who picks me up
no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile.
Cause deep inside this armor…
the warrior is a child.1
1The Warrior is a Child by Twila
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights