My Crazy Run Into Geneva: Jesus’ Deepest Desires, Part 16

by | Apr 22, 2020 | Belief, Faith, Jesus' Deepest Desires

“You believe at last!” (John 16:28 NIV)

I have noticed that many believe, but not necessarily in the right thing. In fact, I have never found anyone, except for those who are completely without hope, who does not believe in something.

I’ve met many people who have faith in the work they are doing. In fact, they take great pride in their work, often neglecting their families along the way. Others put their faith in their children, who can never do anything wrong. Until trouble begins to brew on the horizon, that is! Still others believe in their politicians. Yes, there are still some who do, and sooner or later, they too will be disillusioned, for there is no human being that is perfect. Including me. Sorry to disappoint you!

I was obviously in my irrational years. I was attending seminary in France, and my fellow seminarians noticed that I was not exactly inclined towards sports. They started encouraging me to run with them, and eventually I caved. It was fun at first, but I soon realized that they believed they could make a runner out of me. It is a bit like believing Coke will ever taste like Root Beer, if you know what I mean!

Pressure mounted, and I began to be less and less motivated by the thought of running that course they seemed to be in love with. That’s when this completely absurd idea came into my mind. If it worked, it would take the pressure off my back! I decided that I would run to the train station in Geneva and back! Only a little jog of 20.4 km!

I have no idea where this idea came from, but my fellow student runners responded to the idea with complete shock. “You. . . You want to run to Geneva and back? Do you. . . Do you really believe you can make it?”

Of course, they had been running with me for a while now, and were well aware of my lack of gifting for the sport. But I wasn’t about to lose face. You know how young people can be, and I’m afraid to admit I was still well in my “teenage” years! The more they tried to dissuade me, the more determined I became. I believed in myself. I knew I could do it.

I didn’t particularly want to go alone though, so I invited my running mates to join me. Suddenly they were all either stricken with deathly illness, or they all had huge assignments due the next day. Only one or two were honest: “No way! You’re nuts!”

And I’m sure they were right!

The fateful day dawned bright and clear, and driven by my sense of pride and honor, I set out. I truly believed I could make it, and the fact that my honor was at stake doubled my motivation. My friends were all there when I left. Even the ones who had been driven to their beds with illness. But interestingly, there was no one there when I returned.

But that wasn’t important. The important thing was this: I made it!

Oh, and it’s interesting to note that no one ever invited me to go running with them again. Soon this kind of activity became nothing more than a distant, bad memory from my past. No more pressure, no more running! Yeah!

In all reality, this kind of belief in oneself is based much more on the flesh than on God. I had to prove to myself that I could do it, but it never lead to any Olympic endeavours. It was brief (even though the run lasted several hours), but it never led to anything important.

Aren’t many of our beliefs similar to my crazy marathon? Aren’t they more to prove ourselves to ourselves? But in all reality, there is no substance to them. The sad part is that some of us proclaim our faith in our Lord Jesus, but when the storms of life gather around us, we let it all go, and we find ourselves completely miserable and hopeless. Instead of faith, we shake our fist at the Heavens and angrily exclaim: “Where’s God now?” What we don’t realize is that He’s been there with us the whole time. These are truly sad facts, ones that are far more unreasonable than my very own vain run to the train station!

Jesus’ disciples had been with Jesus for more than three years before they truly realized who He was. That’s when Jesus proclaimed “You believe at last!” (John 16:28 NIV). It takes time for faith to develop, and it can only mature if we allow that intimate relationship with the One we call Faith to grow in our lives. “Now that faith has come. . .” (Gal 3:25 NIV) Indeed, faith is not only a concept, it is a Person!

The question we need to ask ourselves is this: “Do you believe that [Jesus is] able to do this?” (Matt 9:28 NIV) If we have a tendency to hesitate before answering such a question, relax and fall back into Jesus’ arms, then boldly proclaim, just like the desperate father who wanted his son to be healed: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NIV)

Would you like to come for a run with me? I think I should run back to that train station in Geneva. The only problem is, the Atlantic Ocean now stands in my way. Hey! No problem! We’ll find a way around it. And it’s barely 6,428 km one way! Sounds like fun, don’t you think?

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Jesus’ Deepest Desires” devotional series, please click here.)


My Crazy Run Into Geneva: Jesus’ Deepest Desires, Part 16