Doubt and Divine appointments
Sometimes, doubt settles in like fog on a muggy Mississippi morning. It floats around my mind and settles on my heart. This week has brought doubt, misgivings, even a little fear.
Am I really up to this? Something always hurts. An ankle, a knee, a hip, even my elbow! Not always the same joint, but there’s always a new ache, a new crackle, a new pain that demands attention and throws that mean little seed of doubt into my mind. That whiny, needly voice that says “I’m not a runner. I can’t run a marathon, what am I wasting my time for?” Or, that voice that sounds oddly like my Mom’s that says “Why does that hurt? Are you causing irreparable damage to something? Shouldn’t you stop pounding away on your joints? Don’t you need to see a doctor about that?”. Then there’s that mean girl voice that reminds me I need to lose 25 pounds. She very smugly whispers that my joints wouldn’t hurt so much if they didn’t have such a burden to bear. Then, she tells me that it’s no use trying to lose weight at my age, I might as well eat whatever I want to. I used to make fun of my grandmother for talking to herself, now I realize she was probably just telling her “voices” to shut up and let her get on with it. Knowing my Mamaw, I’m sure they very meekly packed their things and went on their way, tails tucked between their legs. Unfortunately, my sister, Melodie, inherited Mamaw’s spirit, I can’t seem to summon the right words at times to make them hush. This has been one of those weeks.
What does doubt have to do with divine appointments? I deeply believe that God brings people into our lives for seasons to help us accomplish the goals He has planned for us. He may bring them to us in the form of a friend, but sometimes He uses people we are never likely to meet to help us on our way. It may be an author He’s given divine insight to that helps us see our way. Or, it may be a pastor, teacher, or even a random stranger who points out the flaw in our thinking, the misstep we are about to make. Because, giving up would be a misstep on my part.
This week He’s provided me with several doubt slayers. One is in the form of an author, Kristen Armstrong. I’m reading her book “Mile Markers”, and it is inspirational in a way I desperately needed right now. She has grace, wisdom, and a knowledge of what running means to the soul. Reading her book is really helping me conquer the doubt monster that’s eating away at my confidence.
One of the many, many gems I’ve taken away from this book is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” It might be saying “no” to something that you would normally say “yes” to and then resent. It might be giving a speech or standing up to a bully. Or, it might be signing up for a race that seems like an insurmountable distance for you. Yikes! Ok, so the distance is a little scary. More than a little, actually. But, I know that when I feel like I can’t do it any more, God will pick it up and do it with me. Because I firmly believe that this is a divine appointment for me.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
I’m counting on it.