movement wins…

Movement wins.

So whispered the Holy Spirit to my heart while I was out walking a couple of days ago. His strong encouragement came to me as I struggled to complete my customary three miles of moderate walking. In the last nine months, I suppose I’ve logged in nearly 700 miles. For the record, I’ve felt every one of them. There’s been some damage to my nerve endings as a result of the chemotherapy. In addition, my current medication, Arimidex, brings with it the side effect of joint pain … especially in the legs.

And so, there is this great contradiction that exists within my flesh—an inconsistency between what is reasonable and what is risky. Reasonable because, with a choice to forego exercise, I have a better chance of keeping personal pain at a minimum. Risky because, with a choice to work through the pain, it’s likely that I’ll “pay for it” the rest of the night—Epsom salts, hot baths, muscle cramps, and pain meds serving to salve my achiness. Thus, this discrepancy between reasonable and risky. Thus, two words from the Father in the midst of my deliberations.

Movement wins. Despite the pain involved, movement wins.

Movement moves me forward from where I was previously. Movement represents progression. Movement advances me beyond current stagnation and launches me down the path of heart-health. I know this to be true as I’ve witnessed my physical strengthening over these past months. Still and yet, what is true isn’t always an easy decision, especially when the decision is a guaranteed choice for additional pain. One really has to want to stay healthy when choosing risky over reasonable. Choosing the risky route can be a costly decision, but in the end, movement wins. So says God.

Could it be the same for our spiritual condition even as it is for our physical one? Is movement the key to securing the kingdom? Is risky over reasonable the only reasonable choice for our Jesus-hearts? Is a choice for more pain, more struggle, and more contradiction the way through to a break-through? To freedom?


From the very beginning, we’ve been a people of movement. First from God’s Garden. Every step since those initial ones, mostly ones taken in anticipation of finding our way back there. Without our forward progression, we stay put … stay anchored to known realities, unwilling to venture beyond safe borders, fixed parameters, and reasonable guidelines. Those who choose to linger there are often those who get left behind, remaining as is. Unchanged. Unmoved. Underdone according to God’s plan for victory. Instead of allowing their struggles to refine them—shape them and move them—they allow their stagnation to define them—keep them and limit them. When that happens, their hearts aren’t winning. Their hearts are subsisting.

I suppose it’s a good enough existence to live with … die with … move on home to Jesus with, but these days I’m not much concerned about good enough. Subsistence living has lost its flavor. I want to give my heart a good work-out, to push it to beyond its current limits, even though there is certain pain attached to those limitations. I want to walk another 700 miles with my heart exposed to the outdoor elements so that it can be moved and manipulated, stretched and strengthened by Jesus for his kingdom purposes.

Is this a reasonable choice? Not really. When has God ever placed reasonable demands at the feet of his children? Moving ahead with Jesus will be, perhaps, the most unreasonable movement of our lives.

Is it a risky choice? Most definitely. Not because God is not definite, but rather because the world says he is definitely not. And who of us isn’t easily shaped by the world? When we allow the world to dictate our choices, we forfeit movement. We risk stagnation. We live as lesser people.

Movement wins, friends. One step from where you are today—whether one inch outside of the box of your security or one foot beyond the perimeter of the garden you’re so carefully guarding—any small step of faith will be enough to move you forward. Reasonable? No. Risky? Yes. Painful? Probably. But in the end, a guaranteed win with the Father.

I need to move today. Maybe you do as well. Something tells me that the risk will be worth the reward. Someone reminds me as well.

Movement wins.

May God grant you and sustain you with his Peace for the journey as you move forward in his direction.

26 Responses to movement wins…

  1. "Subsistence living has lost its flavor."

    I know this feeling. After having suffered with Thyroid Cancer 1994, a difficult pregnancy 1999, and a major depressive episode 2006, I am unable to live a lukewarm life. It's all or nothing.

    With you, my friend!

  2. Paralysis due to fear is sure death I believe, so movement wins!
    Over these past 9 months I have experienced the fear and lack of movement far more than I would want to admit, but it is true.
    In the past couple of weeks my spirit has begun to breath again and signs of life are beginning to raise through the covering of death!
    There is sure Hope as we begin to move and as we do, we KNOW we do not go alone!
    Thank you, my friend, for the reminder that Movement Wins:)

  3. Elaine,

    I loved every single bit of this, and it even stepped on my toes, which needed stepping on.

    Movement wins!!

    With love,

  4. I'm afraid that I'm a little stagnant in both the physical and spiritual areas of movement right now!! This was very needful for me my friend!

    God bless!


  5. You are so right my friend… movement wins!

    The reason I KNOW you are a gifted writer is because every time you pick up that pen, and pour your heart into those words… I GET it!
    I don't just KIND of get it. Writing that is crystal clear to the reader is so special, and I always hear your message loud and clear. It was the same with your book. I love a good picture… your words paint those for me over and over.

    Keep writing, and keep moving!


  6. Oh yes, movement does win! What a great thought.

    I thought of you last night, as well as two other friends who have battled breast cancer. I had a pink hair extension put in my hair for October and Breast Cancer awareness month. I have two friends ( who have not had cancer ) who are walking in the 3 day in a few weeks. They were pinking out the hair of anyone who was willing at church last night. I got pinked out!!

  7. LOVE this!!! NEEDED this!!! Thanks for the encouragement to move forward. Fear has always been the tool that Satan uses and knows affects me the most.

  8. My biggest fears have already come true: I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and James died this year. I have gratefully surrendered to God for He knows what's best for me, even how best to use breast cancer and the loss of my husband. Like you, friend, I continue to move forward with Him.

  9. Love that thought, Elaine. Movement wins. Steps of faith, steps out of our comfort zones, steps toward the Father, steps away from sin. Oh yes, movement wins. Thanks for the reminder — and a phrase to stick with us.

  10. Moving one step at a time – I love that He doesn't expect leaps, just one step at a time!

    As much as I dislike change, I recognize what you say and what God does in our lives – He calls us to movement, to continually move forward!

    Hoping in Faith your nerve endings heal:)

  11. "Moved and manipulated, stretched and strengthened"–how that so describes how God works in me, if I let Him. I don't want to just subsist either, I want to move! Even comfort zones become uncomfortable after a while, if I try to stay there and refuse to leave.
    Praying your continued movement will ease some of the discomfort in time.

  12. Excellent post on perseverance. Just so you know, I have not experienced chemo, but can ache like the dickens after daily exercise too. My only diagnosis is age.

    Blessings dear one.

  13. I'm so sorry to hear about the nerve damage you've experienced but it makes the topic of your post all the more relevant. One foot in front of the other. It's interesting because scripture says God's word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. He lights the way one step at a time. Keep moving, dear friend. He will give the strength for the next step.

  14. Hello, my sweet friend. I wish I could take a walk with you. Shoot. I'd just settle for a sit down with the clock moving slow.

    When I was in Texas last week, on Sunday morning I had to miss our worship because of the time my plane was leaving. Apparently, in the sermon, Jeffrey Overstreet shared about a message Frederick Buechner gave about being a good steward of pain. Here is that message:

    After reading this, I see. What a good steward you have been of your pain, Faith Elaine.

    Movement always wins.

  15. So true! I have a 94 yr. old neighbor who always says the secret to staying healthy is to keep moving. For those facing illness, some days it is easier said than done. Yet, your example of movement, both physically and spiritually has been a great testimony. Same goes with our "walk" with Christ.

    I love that photo! I imagine the biggest risk is NOT moving, as we see the footprints of God move on ahead of us. Staying back and not stepping forward in our faith seems to be a greater risk…one that would cause atrophy of our hearts. I want to follow in His footsteps.

    As always, your eloquent reminders are convicting! Bless you sweet sister! You are a radiant example of winning movement!

  16. wifeforthejourney:

    How you have endured and kept going is an inspiration to us all -near and far.

    You are the best! Love you,


  17. Yes! It's so very counter-intuitive, and so like the Lord. I used to think it all so very scary, but now I've concluded it's all so very adventuresome – pain and all.

    Your "life lessons" pack a powerful whallop, my friend; whallops of the best sort. Thank you.

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