The ‘Gu’ to go on

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The Bible often compares everyday life to running a race:

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us ...” (Hebrews 12:1)

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)

“You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)

Has your race gotten rough? Mine has.

This current stretch I’m on has included the loss of five babies we adopted and implanted into my uterus as embryos. (Read about why we chose embryo adoption | Embryo adoption explained). Four times we got our hopes up. About four thousand times we prayed. Four times we received terrible news, with our last loss being at eight weeks (we saw our baby on the screen, but no heartbeat).

We feel so weary, so tired. Disheartened. Hurt. Gutted. Yet, we believe God wants us to keep running down this rocky, rough road for now. And that’s scary.

Know the feeling?

Screen-Shot-2016-04-26-at-7.10If so, I’ve got some (figurative) ‘Gu’ for you.

Gu (noun), pronounced ‘goo’: 1. The brand name of a performance product intended to increase the endurance of athletes

Rip it open and suck it down for increased endurance.

When you don’t have the strength to pray …
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26)

When you feel like you’re in a fog and need wisdom on how to move forward …
“He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.” (Daniel 2:22)

When you and your doctor need wisdom …
” … there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries …” (Daniel 2:28)

When your heart is breaking …
“You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (Psalm 56:8)

“During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.” (Exodus 2:23-25)

When it just doesn’t seem fair …
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:19-23)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:6-13)

When you’re scared to hope …
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,  to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26)

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

When you feel weak, know that God is big enough and strong enough to cover you:
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

When you are scared of what God’s plan may be …
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. … What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:28, 31-32)

When you mourn over a life lost …
Know that “Jesus wept” over life lost too (John 11:35) …

“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.” (Psalm 84:10a)

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

To those weighed down by worry …
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)

When you receive good news after a time of suffering …
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness …” (Psalm 30:11)

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” (Psalm 66:8-12)

When you receive bad news …
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” (Psalm 57: 1-2)

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

When you question what God is up to …
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

When doubt creeps in …
And [Jesus] asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” (Mark 9:14-28)

When you question if prayer even makes a difference …
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22)

When you wonder if God has forgotten you …
“Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)

When you wonder if you can trust God with this …
“He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:3)

“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.  I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You, therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2, 5-6)

“With God are wisdom and might; He has counsel and understanding.” (Job 12:13)

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

Keep running, sister, and run well, so that one day you may say: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;” (2 Timothy 4:7)

 (Runner photo credit: Flickr/Markus Meier)

Looking for children’s books about embryo donation/adoption? I’ve written two and they are available for purchase on Amazon!

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