Running a 5K pales in comparison to climbing 7 mountains yet one of our graduate’s set out to have her own version of Race for Hope 2016. Her adventure parallels some of the experiences she possessed while in our program here in the U.S. and how God uses things in our lives (like a 7-peak mountain run) to remind us of His faithfulness in both the physical and spiritual needs that we have.
Please enjoy reading the final installment of the 3 part blog series of Sophie’s U.K. Race for Hope 2016:
Spiritually, going through Vision of Hope can wear you out to the point you have nothing easy or comfortable going on to focus on so you think of the joy set before you… The end! The end result of Gods discipline is always worth the climb. Fix your eyes on Jesus!
‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.’ Hebrews 12:1-3
Finally the thought of no more hard climbs was a wonderful feeling! I had reached up my 7th and final peak and it was all down hill from here on out! On the way down I passed by Llwyn Bedw my parents familiar Welsh cottage, after a fast paced downhill journey off of the mountains. I felt relieved and so joyful that God had got me safety up over and down 7 mountains all in one piece!
A similar feeling came over me when the VOH staff told me that they thought I was ready to go home. God did it!! He actually got me this far that I could see the finish line in sight!
‘And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.’ – Philippians 1:6
Incredibly, the last 5 min run back I was full of energy! Matthew was waiting at my stopping point encouraging me with singing ‘Bless the LORD’ as I ran down the street! It was like VOH graduation day for me – a big whirl of excitement celebration and amazement that God had been so good to me and have strengthened me and done such an amazing work.
‘Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ – Isaiah 40:28-31
There is help out there and I hope to be able to point people to the Great Physician who is able to heal and restore. The physical challenge I faced to be tough, exciting and beautiful but I don’t think it could compare to the toughness excitement and beauty of God that I experienced at Vision of Hope and still in this life encounter every day. I learned that following Jesus wasn’t easy, it is an uphill climb. Knowing God isn’t like a cloud of fog, it is like a spectacular view into the the humanly incomprehensible vastness of eternity. And walking in the Spirit with Jesus isn’t boring, it is a fast paced, exhilarating downhill soar and the heat melts and shapes and refines your heart and sets it on fire for His Kingdom.
‘The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!’ – Psalm 24”
How amazing is our Lord of Hosts! Praise Him for His strength and faithfulness when we need Him most.
We couldn’t agree more, Sophie, that God is amazing and His strength carries us through the process of becoming like Christ.
We trust you have been encouraged and challenged by this series, as we have been, to keep Christ as our focus as we “run the race marked out for us” with perseverance. Sophie has been a blessing to the Vision of Hope family and we are incredibly grateful God crossed our paths somehow across the Atlantic Ocean!