In the midst of a long and dreary winter I yearn for the warm breeze that blows in with the seasons change. I crave a balmy caress from the summer sun. The minute the spring sunshine heats the frosty air melting the ice-covered roads I dig out my dusty running shoes and hit the trail.
On one such afternoon I was plodding along a newly mapped jogging route. It was a country block approximately 4 miles in total with each stretch of the square course one mile long. The particular stretch upon which I was running housed one lonely farm dwelling and fields and fields of land. It was quiet and peaceful – exactly what I long for while jogging. I was half way into the course and was at the furthest spot possible from home when everything changed.
My serene solitude was shattered in a heartbeat. The unwelcome sound of violent barking filled the air. A concerned look over my shoulder revealed a huge growling dog hot on my tail. This was no ordinary dog. He was a beast of mammoth proportions and he was closing in fast.
The Great Dane was larger than life, and certainly no match for my small 5 foot 2 inch frame. Struck dumb with terror I stopped frozen in my spot. It was as if my legs had sprouted roots and had spread themselves deep into the dirt road. In this moment of complete vulnerability I was reduced to blubbering fool. All I could manage was to repeat my hearts cry in the simplest form “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help!”
Just as this beast was closing in a tiny squirrel darted between us. That small act of interference caught the animal’s eye and the diversion gave me enough time to run like lightning never to step foot on that road again. I’m not sure if the squirrel got away or became an afternoon snack for a hungry carnivore. But, I do know that God answered my prayer, even when my mind could not form a coherent thought.
I learned something important that day. In the midst of fear/grief/excitement/fill-in-the-blank God hears me. He not only hears, but he understands my heart’s cry. God wants his children to bring everything to him, including our prayers too painful to voice, our fears too sudden to express, and our hopes so dear to our hearts we cannot articulate them.
When God answers, run as fast as you can toward him.