He Still Waits

 (Bernie, the summer before I reeled him in)

So, we already established a few weeks ago that I am definitely not a runner.  But now that spring is here, and the thirty feet of snow has melted, I’m slowly attempting to hop back into the runner’s saddle.

Last Saturday, Bernie and I had the great idea of going on a run together.  Knowing that I would not be able to keep up, I suggested that we start out together and just meet back at the house when we finished.  Since our new apartment is right by a canal, we decided that was the perfect place to start out.

A note to all novice runners: Saturday morning on the canal is not for the faint of heart.  I’ve never seen more intense, hardcore people in my life—Bernie and I just blended right in…

We started out at a pretty even pace and then slowly Bernie kept inching further away from me.  Eventually, I had to take a little walking break, and once I did Bernie and his red shirt soon disappeared from my view.

Even though we had agreed to go at our own pace, I was surprised how emotional I got when I could no longer see Bernie.  I guess I just didn’t want to feel left behind and I didn’t like not being able to keep up.

As I kept slugging along, any time I saw a red t-shirt coming along, I thought, “Is that Bernie?  Is he coming back for me?”  Negative.  Just another intense, red shirted, hardcore person on their routine morning run. 

“It’s fine.”  I kept saying.  “I told him to run home.  Why would he come back?”

I moseyed along balancing my run/walk/run/walk routine when I realized I was approaching the boat house where I was supposed to turn off to go home.  Suddenly, in the distance, I saw a red shirt sitting on the grass by the trail.  Was that Bernie?  After about ten other runners turned out not to be Bernie, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.  “Would he really wait for me?” I wondered.

On a side note, I wrote a post about a boy who waited for my friend here, but when it came to my relationship with Bernie, I was the one who waited.  Silently, patiently, for eight months, until Bernie finally decided on his own that making me his wife might not be such a bad idea.  Not sure why it took him a little longer, I’m clearly such a catch!

Anyways, I kept running along, trying to imagine Bernie in the apartment so I wouldn’t be disappointed, when I finally was able to confirm that it was him—He waited!  (I assure you this had NOTHING to do with the fact the waiting spot was by a river that he likes to fish.  Nope, not in the least!)

Once I realized it was him, I pulled myself together and sprinted to the finish line.  He waited!

I had no idea that this little inaugural spring run would affect me the way that it did.  Maybe I was a little overly emotional that morning, but as I ran along, I came face to face with my insecurity, my neediness, and my desire to be accepted and loved.

But the most beautiful thing?  As I was winding down my run, feeling weak, inadequate, alone, and completely worn out, I pictured God waiting for me—lovingly, patiently, encouragingly, with His arms wide open.   

No matter how long it takes us to get there, or how many times we have to stop to walk along the way, our God is a God who waits patiently for us.  Even when we’re so tired or worn down that we feel like we can’t get there, he comes along side us and He carries us.

With God, we are loved, we are desired, and we are never alone.  May these truths ring in our hearts today!   

“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” 
Zephaniah 3:17
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3