I love to run. It’s my outlet and my sanity saver. I feel so good when I run outdoors – there’s just something about inhaling the crisp, clean winter air that makes me feel purified inside.
Running, along with Prayer and reading my Bible, are truly my lifelines, and the only way I can make it through life in one piece.
Today I was given the blessings of time and energy, so I knew better than to clean or sit at my computer (both good ways to use my time and energy!), and I went for a run.
While running, my mind traveled far away to distant lands and brought me back some souvenirs I have no desire to keep.
These souvenirs are worry, anxiety, and negativity.
I began to have a panic attack 15 minutes into my run.
I had a real choice to make: quit early, add to my physical stress and emotional burden by hating myself for “failing”, and keeping these souvenirs because I feel that I have to.
Or, get help, like, immediately.
So, I started talking to God and He gave me a visualization that helped me realize something profound.
I began to visualize Jesus, kneeling on one knee, arms outstretched towards me. There was a giant blanket laid flat on the floor in front of Him.
Jesus was telling me to lay all of my burdens, worries, panics, anxieties, and shames right there on the blanket.
So I did just that.
I began to visualize people, things, symbols for things (for example, a scale as a symbol for my fluctuating weight), places, or energies that are toxic to me. Anything that doesn’t make me feel good.
I just went ahead and dropped tiny sized replicas of each of those things right there on that giant blanket.
Then, I wrapped them up nicely, tied the top with a beautiful ribbon, and pushed the bundle of gifts closer to Jesus.
Jesus thanked me. Then he said something to me.
He said, “Thank you, my child. Now, here is My gift to you.”
And He held out His right hand to me.
In the center of His palm was this white light; this ball of energy that was just pure and bright. It was shining out in all directions.
Jesus was handing me His gift. Himself. His gift of peace.
And that’s where my visualization ended. I never saw myself actually taking the gift.
I kept replaying it over and over in my head while I continued my run – placing my burdens onto the giant blanket; pushing the beautifully tied bundle towards His feet; and watching as He handed me this gift of light, this gift of peace, that I am unable to accept and receive.
By about the third time going through it all I realized the message that God was trying to send me.
God was telling me that I am in my own way of peace. That He sent His Son, who took on the sins of the world so that I, the real sinner, can have peace. God was telling me that the gift of peace was there for my taking, all I had to do was get out of my own way and accept it.
Before I knew it I had finished my run. I still had a heaviness in my heart, both spiritually and physically. But, now I had an image to meditate and pray on. A vision of what I needed to begin working on within myself.
And I had a profound reminder of Whom the giver of peace is. It doesn’t come from within me, but only through Him, the creator of peace itself.
What about you?
Are you able to accept the gift of peace that Jesus is offering you?
What do you think you can do to clear the way and make room in your life for this gift?