21 Jan Redemptive Running (Heb 5:8) by Dr. Rich Reich
“He learned obedience from what He suffered.” ~ Heb 5:8 (full readings)
Rich’s Reflections: Many of the people that I work with do not understand why I run. Why would you purposely put yourself through pain and suffering? I do not really find running to be all that painful especially after the endorphins start kicking in (so-called second wind), but even so, suffering can be a gift. You may be unable to perform physical or mental feats, but you are always able to suffer. Everyone can suffer, and contrary to the “wisdom” of the culture of death, suffering has great value. When everything goes perfectly for you, it is not difficult to obey God. Even Satan commented on this when Job was blessed with prosperity (Job 1:9-10). However, when we obey God as we suffer, that is a tremendous witness to others of our belief in Christ. As stated in the Gospel, we actually learn obedience from suffering (Heb 5:8). Suffering has such great power that Jesus chose to redeem us through His suffering. God Himself did not create suffering, but He allows it for greater purposes. Jesus removes much unnecessary suffering through healings and miracles, but those sufferings He allows we can offer redemptively on behalf of His body. The next time that you go on a long run, pray for others and lift your suffering up to the Lord for those in your prayer. If you are not a runner, you can still pray for others (like the unborn) in times when you find that you are suffering. You will find Christ’s peace as your focus is removed from yourself and to the needs of others.
* Dr. Rich Reich is the co-founder of the LIFE Group Devotions and the National LIFE Runners Team. He is married to Erica and lives in Satellite Beach, FL. Full bio.
Faith Challenge: Pray for others in times when you find that you are suffering. You will find Christ’s peace as your focus is removed from yourself and to the needs of others.
Feast Day: St. Agnes
Faith Quote: “It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.” ~ Hans Urs von Balthasar