Do you run?
Do you run? I have NEVER run in my life. I have walked, including power walking for years. In college I worked out in the gym daily, doing aerobics, step aerobics, stair steppers, treadmills, and various weights- both "free" weights and machines.
But, I have never RUN.
It's not that I didn't WANT to run. I have always envied runners when I see them. I longed to be able to run with long strides, sweating, arms flowing. And, it seems that runners perform the activity with such ease!
I have always had a "vision" of me running and a dream of someday running in a marathon. But, every time I tried to run, I would take a few strides, my legs would start burning, and I would just quit.
I had a mindset that I couldn't do it. I used excuses like, "My body type just doesn't fit with running." I kept telling myself that I couldn't DO IT. That all changed about a week ago when my friend challenged me to add running to my workout routine. She came with me and we began the run side by side.
After about two minutes, I told her I just couldn't run any longer. I began to slow down. She told me, "Don't stop! Keep going! You can do it!"
Every time I began to slow down, she would encourage me to continue. She wouldn't let me give up. She would not allow me to tell myself that it was impossible.
We ran around a track. We ran against the wind. We ran uphill. And, I found I COULD do it!
Do you have an "I can't do it!" mentality with anything in your spiritual life?
Have you made excuses, told yourself it is impossible, thought your situation is hopeless?
God is telling you, just like my friend, "You can do it! Don't quit! It IS possible!"
With God, all things are possible. Matthew 19:26I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I have to tell you, two days later I was SORE. My muscles ached.
The same is true when we "run" spiritually. Our spiritual muscles will be sore. But, I found that the next time I ran it was EASIER. And, it felt great! The more we "work out" our spiritual muscles, it will get easier and it will FEEL GREAT!
My friend encouraged me and really helped me to continue to push myself. Again, the same is true spiritually. When we have an authentic friendship built upon the foundation of Christ, we can encourage one another...."spurring one another on" in our faith walks. (Hebrews 10:25)
....let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
Running takes perseverance. But, spiritual "running" also takes perseverance. We must not get discouraged when we hit obtacles, but stay steadfast with our eyes on Him. And, like that track where I began my first run- hills, curves, and all- our spiritual track will have curves and hills, and the wind blowing against us. But, we can have a confident peace because the race "is marked out for us." God has created the "track." And, He is running with us side by side.
Thank You, Lord, that I don't have to give up when running my race. I can trust in You. I can lean on You. Thank You that You encourage me. Thank You, Lord, that when my hope is in You, I will run and NOT grow weary. Help me, Lord, to run this race with perseverance with my eyes set on You. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
1. What are areas of your life where you are "running" spiritually- areas that seem impossible for you to overcome. What are some excuses you have used for not overcoming? What does Romans 8:37-39 say about this?
2. Do you have a SPIRITUAL "running partner"? Do you have someone who can encourage you in your relationship with Christ? If not, write a prayer asking God to bring someone.