I have not always been a runner. I have always been intrigued by runners and especially by marathoners. I ran my first marathon in April of 2006 and it was a life changing experience-not because the time in which I finishedI the race or by the ease of the race. The number of spectators and volunteers amazed me and the enthusiastic encouragement by these total strangers was emotionally moving. Why did they feel the need to call out my name? Why did they stand and pass out water and energy gel?
They wanted me to FINISH!
I remember turning the street corner for the last half mile and hearing the announcer calling out bib numbers,names, and where these runners were from. I remember wondering if my legs would forgive me for continuing to ask them to move after 26 miles. I remember seeing my family on the sidewalk with the other spectators. Chris, my wife began to run on the sidewalk alongside me, telling me to finish. "Keep running!" she shouted, and continued to run through the crowd calling my name. Then the announcer said, "Kevin Weaver, bib #879 , from Honey Grove, TX, and this is his first marathon." Encouragement- what a powerful thing it can be.
Two weeks ago, I was told I had a tumor on my spine. All the other discouraging words followed quickly: malignant, large, radiation, chemotherapy.....................but God knew I needed encouragement and how He has provided! I have had more cards, food, phone calls, e-mails, gifts, and other sacrifices by friends and family than I would have thought possible.
God has allowed this trial at the perfect time for Him to be glorified!
I watched my mother, who was in a tragic accident months ago, walk into my hospital room to say, "You can do this, Son." My father, who survived brain surgery three years ago to tell me, "Son, you are made of tough stuff, now prove it." My other parents, (some people call them in-laws) have dropped everything to care for our children and to do all the little things that are not really little things at all. They love me as their own son and that I do not understand. My children have stepped to the plate and taken over responsibilities, understanding that Dad might miss an event. A brother and sisters who have encouraged by doing, without being asked. An assistant coach, Coach Lane, who I had the privilege to coach, take over a team. A principal, who is a dear friend, fill every gap and love my family as his own. A friend in Kathy Clark, the girls' coach, who makes me laugh and loves me like a brother.
What do I hear in all of this? You can do it! Don't quit! Keep running! FINISH!
2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Gal 6:2 (NKJV)