A couple of weeks ago, I joined my sister Peggy in Pheonix, Arizona for our 8th marathon in our 8th state. Lord willing, we hope to do 50 marathons in all 50 states… taking one marathon at a time, one step at a time. Peggy and I have a ministry called Hope Walking aCross America. Our purpose is to pray for each state we walk in, present His word while there, as well as provide a financial donation to a local ministry.
Why marathons? Both Peggy and I feel that running/walking 26.2 miles is something we do that really is “bigger than ourselves.” We do it together, encouraging one another along the way, trusting the Lord to get us to the finish line. In a sense, a marathon is an ideal representation of our life’s journey: we need God, and we need each other–in the highs and the lows, in the joys and the struggles. Sometimes in marathons, and in life, the struggle is almost too much to bear. Again, that’s why we need God and His provision of a like-minded friend(s) to get us through to the end! All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Heb. 12:11-13
|Tom and Doreen Strohm–Life changers!|
Why did we choose Arizona this go round? Well interestingly, about a year ago, a woman, Doreen Strohm, who is from a city near Pheonix, happened to come across my website and was intrigued with HopeWalking (*see below). Out of Doreen’s kindness, she offered Peggy and me a place to stay whenever we came her direction. We took the offer with gratitude, and the pieces of our trip to AZ were slowly being put together. From this sweet encounter, my sister and I felt the Lord’s leading to raise support in our marathon for their ministry called Jesus Cares, which is an amazing outreach for families in crisis. Their “marathon ministry” has been changing lives for more than three decades. Indeed, through them, Jesus Cares. I love how the Lord created this divine appointment between us. We now have dear friends in Arizona! Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you are doing. I Thess. 5:11
My prayer for you, reader, is that you would be encouraged today in your walk of life. You may be struggling on an uphill climb, feeling like you’re on mile 23 and the end is nowhere in sight. (I’m referring to this mile because it was mine and Peggy’s almost breaking point this time…”ugh! help!”) If you are at this desperate place right now, hear these words in response to your weary cries: Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Is 40:31
Trust in the Lord and press on, preferably with a friend who knows and loves you. It makes the struggle a little lighter and the enduring journey more beautiful. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for (sisters) to dwell togehter in unity! Ps. 133:1
|Sister fun at the Pheonix Suns game|
|Grand Canyon–An Amazing Master-piece|
*If you are interested in what intrigued Doreen, see my website at www.respitefortheweary.com and search the sidebar for the post label: “From Passerby to Crossing the Street”.