I get stressed. I get sad and angry and depressed. In the past two weeks instead of my usual go to comfort mode: sugary sweet food, Jesus urged me instead to run to Him. Run to Him because that is where true, lasting, non-fattening comfort is found.  But running to Him is problematic. There are lots of other options:  I could scoot my rolling chair to him, or limp to him, I could even walk fast to him, but running is something this body cannot do. I just last week got results from an MRI. Seems both knees are shot but the right is worse than the left. (The doctor asked me if bad knees run in my family. Uh, no, they might limp, or hobble but they sure don’t run). All kidding aside, I’m in a tough spot. I have very bad arthritis and bone on bone joint in the right knee, also a lot of scary sounding stuff I don’t really understand. The doctor says nothing to be done but replace the knee, but I am too young for that. So, in the meantime, do what I can and try not to gain weight. When I got the doctors report in the mail, I re-read what he’d said and I thought, it’s a miracle I’m even walking. But after the little pity party and woe is me moment, I thought, well, yeah, my knees prevent me from running to Jesus, but that doesn’t mean my soul can’t run.

In the bible people were running all the time. I reckon they didn’t have bikes or cars, so getting somewhere fast involved running. David ran when he had to get away from crazy King Saul. More than once when people recognized Jesus, they ran to him and brought their friends in case anyone needed healing. The servant girl heard Peter at the gate and was so excited she didn’t open the gate, just turned and ran to tell the others Peter had arrived. The two apostles ran to the tomb when they heard it was empty, one reaching it before the other one because he was faster. (If that little tidbit is important enough to be included in the Word, I’m putting it here). Running, running, running. So I can see why I felt like Jesus wants us to run to him.

I kept hearing this message:’ run to Jesus’, but being kind of wrapped up in my own little world of I’ve got bad knees, I didn’t think I could do it. My time with Jesus was hit and miss. It was easier to reach for chocolate or chips then to think about Him. It seemed simpler to talk to my girlfriends about what ailed me then to talk with Jesus or read His word. And, then, one day, I did.

I don’t recall what led me to the Word that day, but I do remember feeling like I urgently must talk with Jesus. I felt lonely and homesick and like no one would really understand if I even attempted to tell them my woes. So, overwhelmed, I physically limped, but spiritually ran to Jesus. It’s sad that it’s taken me 30 years as his kid to finally figure out that He should be my first and last resort. That day I sat in my chair and opened the Word. I didn’t miraculously find the answer to my dilemma,  what I did find was words I’d read at least fifty times before, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28) Now, maybe I didn’t previously pay such close attention to this scripture because of the word labor. The last labor I did was 30 some odd years ago when my last child was born. But, on that day, when I read that scripture He made it clear that I labor. Every day. Labor doesn’t need to be a physical thing. I labor when I fret, I labor when I do housecleaning, I labor when I pray with others, and it is all labor. This revelation gave me permission to embrace the remaining part of the scripture, “28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. “How did I miss all that for so many years, because of one simple word?

This has been freeing for me.  I still can’t run physically, but I soulfully take wing at every opportunity. “Kinda sad? Take it to Jesus. Satan whispering my name? Jesus. Really excited? High fiving Jesus. (Which is high fiving myself and saying, ‘we did it Jesus, high five!’)

It’s made a big change in my attitude and put my focus where I know it should be – on Him, not me.

God designed us each uniquely. Song really speaks to my spirit. So, while I’m being the clay to His potter hands, and learning how to soulfully run, in spite of bad knees, He also gave me a song. As I considered running to Him with bad knees a song played on the radio. It’s called RUN, (of course it is!)  By Sanctus Real. And I was amazed at how my Jesus provided everything I needed to get over my woes and onto encouraging others for His kingdom. I know I am not the only one who has bad knees or has heavy burden. Everyday my sister’s labor, and maybe some have missed the blessing of that scripture as I did. But no more. Take it to Him!

What a great God! Equipping us with every good thing we need to be vessels He can use… arthritic knees maybe but no arthritic soul. Don’t let the labors of life get you down, RUN to Jesus! He’s waiting for you and He is gentle and humble of heart and you will find the rest your soul searches for.

By Linda Mae Baldwin | Freelance writer