Photo by Alexandra Ellingson
Immediately I was reminded of Isaiah 53. 53 is how many registered Freedom Fighters took part in the 4th annual Action169 Freedom Race 5k 10k. There were 53 registered runners and 14 volunteers, and it took every single person, including the sponsors to make the race possible.
One persistent and prayerful runner shared the following: “There were times I was thinking, God, why am I doing this? I grabbed the wrong tennis shoes, my feet are blistering and bleeding and my ankle is not healed from rolling it. I took the wrong stroller. I should quit. And then, I’d remind myself that this is how the evil one wins. He plants seeds of doubt. And so instead, I prayed for my Momma who is angry at God. I prayed for my daughters and my son, and I prayed for the little girls and women out there who do not know their worth in God’s eyes. As I prayed, my feet got lighter and although I may not have actually moved quicker, it sure felt like I was running faster.”
In Isaiah 53, we catch a glimpse of some of the trials that Jesus Himself went through, such as being despised and acquainted with grief. Is it possible that when He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, praying with the weight of the sin of the world crushing Him before He took it all to the cross, that His prayers for us made His steps a little bit lighter? I believe it’s very possible.
The Word tells us that “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrew 12:2). He was willing to do whatever it would take to do His Fathers will for the joy set before Him - You! You might say He was a Freedom Fighter, fighting for the freedom of all those He prayed for.
Freedom Fighters will do whatever it takes.
Coming all the way from California to meet up with his daughter in Minneapolis and drive south to Fairmont, a 62 year old father joined his daughter for the race. They showed up as a team who ran the course brimming with high hills, low valley’s and open to traffic.
The race takes careful vigilance in making and marking the turns accurately so that you make it back to where you started and cross the finish line. Even if a turn is missed, eventually one will figure it out and reroute back to the beginning. The point is, that we’re willing to keep going even when the course brings challenges.
When the challenges come we pray, we love like Christ and we run the race. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead with persistence, focus and a prayer life, our steps are made lighter. “We press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
In those times when we feel like giving up or those seeds of doubt come rolling in, as Freedom Fighters, we pray instead. We run the race that is before us with our eyes fixed and focused on the prize, Jesus Christ, who is our strength, our living hope and the answer for those we run for.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
A Father and His Son
There was one particular photo of a father who ran the race with his son that I showed my husband. His son even placed in the top three male runners of the race. Showing the picture to my husband, he asked, “How did he place in the race?” Looking at the photo, I answered that “His father ran the race with him.” Isn’t that how we all run and win the race, and isn't that how we run for the freedom of others? We make it, and we make it well, because we have One Freedom Fighter who has already made a way for us.
Pray, love and run the race you Freedom Fighters!
Save the date of September 7th for the 2019 5th annual Freedom Race.
Early-bird race and volunteer registration, as well as race donations, are now open www.FreedomRace2019.com