Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My God is Healer Played Out

Carissa and I at the start

Remember the post I wrote the day I was leaving for Hood to Coast about the power of God’s name and how He is Healer?  I wanted to post a quick follow-up to let you know how God revealed Himself as Healer to me while I ran.

On race morning, I donned my handmade “God is Healer” race t-shirt at the oh-so-awful hour of 3:30 a.m. In my half-dead state I unknowingly spilled coffee all over it adding to the “yes, I made my shirt and I’m proud of it,” appeal.   An hour later, Carissa and I were milling around the starting line watching the rising sun illuminate the darkness and chatting about how we hoped it would get light enough to get pictures of the mountain before we started the race.  We happened to be within ear shot of a KATU TV reporter who looked much happier to be awake than I was and somewhat bored.  He made eye contact, we exchanged smiles and the next thing I knew we were having a conversation.

live TV - scary!
Lincoln (the TV reporter):  “Tell me why you’re running today.”
Me:  “I have several friends battling cancer and chronic pain.  I asked God to give me a focus for this race and I felt Him calling me to pray for healing for my friends.  I made a race shirt as a reminder and I plan on spending my running time praying for each of them.”
Lincoln:  “How do you feel about an interview on live TV?”
Me:  “Ummm…
Carissa (shoving me forward and forgetting that I told my team I’m not responsible for anything I say before 7 a.m.):  “She’d love that.”

Here's your mountain Pete!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up standing at the top of a mountain waiting to talk to a TV reporter about how God is HEALER.  God added to the wow factor by painting the most incredible sunrise on the canvas of foothills behind me while the interview took place.  Only He could orchestrate that!

Just before the interview started, I remembered my race T-shirt.  It was buried under two layers of clothes so I quickly pealed them off and added my bib number so I’d look official.  The Cameraman counted backward “3-2-1-you’re on” and Lincoln started talking about Hood to Coast, the strange weather, the sun rising and all the crazy runners.  He introduced me and asked me why I was running.

Have I said how much I love Carissa?
I had 30 seconds to summarize what God was doing in my heart and I really have no idea what I actually said.  I remember talking about my friend Pete in Illinois and how we both loved and missed the mountains.  I mentioned moving to Oregon and the stage four cancer diagnosis Pete received since we moved.  He’s battling courageously but his journey has been heavy on my heart.  I talked about needing a focus for the race and how I felt God lead me to pray for healing for Pete and five other friends suffering from illness.  I pointed out my gaudy t-shirt, Lincoln thanked me, talked about cancer research, and we were done.   (It was hours later that I realized I had coffee stains all down my shirt which confirms that you can't take me anywhere.)

My God is Healer
I started my first leg around 9 a.m.  Before I ran Carissa and I stood in the brightness of the morning sunshine with a sea of activity swirling around us and prayed together for a good race, for focused mental attention, and for sweet time with Jesus.  Shortly after we finished praying a race volunteer shouted through the bullhorn, “Number 1026 is approaching.”  I jumped into the transition area, Amy tagged off to me, and I took off down Highway 26 hooping and hollering with excitement that I was finally running in Hood to Coast.

Once I settled down and reclaimed my status as an adult, I started praying.  My mind wanders easily so the fact that I was able to stay focused in prayer for 40 minutes was nothing short of miraculous.  I prayed through the list of loved ones on my shirt and reflected on the name of God - Healer.

My 6-mile route was rated “very hard with challenging rolling hills,” but there wasn’t much about these hills that rolled.  They were almost all uphill.  Three miles into my run, I turned off the main highway and ran up a beautiful, heavily wooded and less traveled country road.  For safety reasons earphones are not allowed on Hood to Coast, but I grabbed my iPod and turned the speaker up as loud as it would go.  When there was no traffic, I could make out tinny faint music.

I hit five miles and with another mile of climbing in front of me, I thought, “I’d sure like to hear Your Great Name by Natalie Grant.”  Two seconds later, traffic died down and the faint intro of her song wafted up.  I laughed out loud and worshipped my Healer as Natalie sang me up the hill to the exchange point.

“Lost are saved, find their way at the sound of your great name.
All condemned feel no shame at the sound of your great name.
Every fear has no place at the sound of your great name.
The enemy, he has to leave at the sound of your great name.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us.
Son of God and Man.
You are high and lifted up, that all the world will praise your great name.

All the weak find their strength at the sound of your great name.
Hungry souls, receive grace at the sound of your great name.
The fatherless, they find their rest at the sound of your great name.
Sick are healed and the dead are raised at the sound of your great name!

My Healer.
Lord Almighty.
My Savior.
You are my King.”

Talk about an awesome way to come into the exchange!  My God is Healer.  Thank you Jesus!  (Watch the video if you want to hear the song.)

Stay tuned for more about Hood to Coast in another post.

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