Blessed is the man who perseveres…    ~ James 1:12

An unexpected break in rain prompted me to go out for a morning walk.  I was making my way down the street when I saw a neighbor.  She was on her way to meet her walking partner.  They walk 4 miles or an hour/day.   I told her I’d love to walk that long, but fibromyalgia limits what I can do.  She said her walking partner has fibromyalgia, too, but they started walking a year ago, and now her friend can walk long distances.  That was encouraging to hear!

I thought about that as I went on with my walk, remembering my most recent walk a few days ago.  It hadn’t gone too well.  After just 10 minutes my muscles were giving me problems.  I tried to go on, but had to turn around and go home.  It took me 17 minutes to walk the same distance back, but at least I kept moving!  I remember thinking, “My muscles might ail me, but they don’t fail me!  For that I am thankful!”

Today I reached the place where I turned around last time.  My muscles were starting to tighten, but not as badly as before.  Encouraged by the story about my neighbor’s friend, I decided to go just a little farther.  I only walked for two more minutes before turning around, but that was two minutes more than last time!  In those two minutes I passed a house that triggered a memory.  The last time I walked past that house I’d said hi to the woman who lived there.  My greeting led to a conversation and I learned she was a Christian woman going through a divorce she’d tried hard to avoid.  The husband had left.  She sold the house and was in the process of moving with her young daughter.  We became friends in that brief meeting.  She hugged me and said what an encouragement it was to her that God brought us together that day.  I was encouraged by our meeting of divine appointment, too.  I pray that she’s doing well wherever she is today.

It was time to turn around and go home.  As I went past that house on my way back, I saw a sidewalk cross! (See my previous post titled My Walk with God and the Sidewalk Cross.)  Really?  Another sidewalk cross?!  (Praise!) I love finding images of crosses in the world around me, and this one was formed by two small twigs, intersecting to make a perfect sidewalk cross.

After pausing to look at the cross and take a picture with my cell phone, it occured to me that I wouldn’t have seen that cross if I hadn’t decided to go just a little farther.  I also wouldn’t have been reminded of how God brought two of us together one day and encouraged each of us through our encounter, an encounter that happened along the very section of sidewalk where today I found the sidewalk cross.

Hmmm…How might God be able to do more, and show me more, if in the course of my day Iput forth a little more effort and tried to go just a little farther?  What will I miss if I stop short of the goals He puts before me?

Thank You, Lord, for the encouragements and blessings You put before us each day – encouragement to go just a little farther, and blessings when we do.   Amen.