By: Vivian Wilson
Well, it didn’t take long! I have only known about my new “course” assignment for next year for a couple of weeks and my first significant “test” on contentment has been administered. It came in the form of a HUGE disappointment.
As many of you know, I have been training since July, to run in the Chevron Houston Marathon. In October, I competed in the Houston Half Marathon. In November, I ran the second of the warm-up races, a 25K. I did well in both races, at a pace to accomplish my goal of a sub six hour 26.2 miles in January.
Last Sunday, I participated in the final warm-up, a 30K held in Sugar Land. About a third of the way into the race I began to feel some discomfort in my right leg. Half way through the race the discomfort became pain. I was pretty certain that it was caused by inflammation of the IT Band affecting the area on the outside of my right knee. As the pain intensified I had an internal debate. Should I quit and hope the injury wasn’t severe enough to side-line me for several weeks, or should I finish what I started and complete the 18.6 mile course? Was there a guarantee that if I quit I would be able to run again in a few days and continue training for the marathon which takes place in just five weeks?
I decided to continue. Because I could. I finished. Considering the circumstances I did well; less that ten minutes off of the pace I would need to reach my goal. Unfortunately, it is pretty apparent to me that the injury is probably not going to be healed in time to adequately prepare for and run the marathon in January.
When I finally faced that fact, I immediately felt the pain of disappointment. My expectation and hope of running the 2015 Chevron Houston Marathon are most likely going to be unfulfilled. My initial reaction was to go into denial.
No one likes to feel the sting of disappointment. We want all of our carefully thought out plans and intentions to succeed. When we have placed realistic expectations on our plans and have been diligent about doing the work necessary to bring about the desired results, we expect fulfillment and satisfaction.
So when something unforeseen happens to thwart our plans, something that we cannot control, we are stricken with the feelings of loss and disappointment.
This is the time to make a choice. I can sink under the weight of this sorrow. Or, I can choose to rest in the loving arms of the Sovereign God of the universe and allow Him to lift me out of the mire by His all-sufficient grace.
I can choose to be satisfied by His love, fulfilled, lacking nothing, as I trust in His goodness and love.
I can choose to be content in this place. And in this place I have peace.
The debilitating pain of disappointment is replaced by the comforting calm of contentment when I choose to trust God with my life and surrender my will to His.
Psalm 119:76-77 “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight”.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Whether physically healthy or not). I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
A work in progress,