I didn’t feel like running that morning. I had been up too late but I wouldn’t have time to run later in the day, so I reluctantly donned my running clothes, pulled my hair up, then reached for my new running shoes. This was a brand I hadn’t used for a while, but my previous shoes, which I absolutely loved were wearing out too quickly. I had to try something new. I’d run in this new pair a few times and liked them a lot. They fit my feet like a glove fits a hand. Even the lady in the running store mentioned that they looked like they were made for my feet.
So this morning, I slipped my feet into these new shoes and felt a transformation. Instantly, I felt empowered to run. I was excited to run. It was strange. I’d been lacing up running shoes for over 30 years but this morning these shoes transformed me! I truly felt like I could reach new heights, new speeds, new distances! Empowered!
I felt like Clark Kent must have felt when he pulled on his cape and instantly became Superman. Or when a young woman slips into her wedding gown on her magical day and she’s transformed into a bride. Or maybe when a pre-schooler puts on his T-ball uniform for the first time and becomes a baseball player. Transformation.
And isn’t that what Jesus does for us? Transforms us from sinner to saint, filthy to cleansed, guilty to free, distant from God to welcomed to the very throne room in which He sits. He renews our minds, strengthens our bodies and heals our broken hearts. He provides rest for our weary souls, bestows crowns of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and garments of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
He empowers us with the Holy Spirit working through us to love others when we can’t possibly do it on our own, to be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy and useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (2 Tim 2:21). He empowers us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, to bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we may have against one another, to forgive as the Lord forgave us (col 3:12-13).
He empowers us to follow where He may lead, though the path appears impossible, to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled upright and Godly lives in the present age (Titus 2:11). He equips us with everything good for doing his will and he may work in us what is pleasing to him (Heb 13:21). He empowers us to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10), to live by the Spirit to produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22) and to run the with perseverance the race set before us (Heb 12:1).
Wow! I know I can’t do any of that on my own even in my favorite pair of running shoes. I had an enjoyable run that day. I don’t remember hitting new PRs or going an extremely far distance. I don’t recall hurdling high walls or jumping large bodies of water. I only remember feeling empowered to run when I truly did not want to run. I liked that.
As much as I love my running shoes and the change I felt that day, the transformation from Jesus that empowers me to do His will is what I want. How about you? When have you felt empowered? I’d love to hear about it!
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18