Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” NIV
Two weekends ago, Greg and I did a 12 mile run. I had known all week that this long run was part of my training, yet really hadn’t given it too much thought (except to think of how badly I didn’t want to do it!) The day before, it was business as usual for me – didn’t drink much water, ate a crazy supper (a double bacon cheeseburger and fries!!!) and didn’t get a very good nights sleep. The next day, about half way through the run, I started to feel very exhausted; worse than usual. I was frustrated (all kinds of bad thoughts were running through my mind!). I was pleading with the Lord to help me finish. It was pretty ugly. I ended by walking the last mile feeling awful. That afternoon, things went from bad to worse. I paid for my lack of preparation. I was really dehydrated; shivers, cramps, you name it. Greg and the kids waited on me all afternoon and nursed me back to health.
This weekend, I had another long run that was on our training schedule. This time, I got it right! I started hydrating days before. I ate a light carb-filled diet on Friday night and went to bed early. Before the run, I filled my fuel belt with Gateraid, snacks with electrolytes in them and chap stick. I was SO ready! Saturday morning was a wonderful time with Greg (as good as it can be when you are running 13 miles!). The sun was out, the trees were amazing and we had a great talk. Absolutely no comparison to my run two weeks ago.
This scenario is really not all that different from our walk with the Lord. We know that there are trials ahead; He tells us in His word that they are a part of this life. We can make a choice similar to the choices I made. I didn’t plan ahead for my first “trial” and it was very painful, but on round two, I got wiser. I prepared my body and my gear and finished my “trial” strong.
We can do the same. We can plan ahead to be strong when the trials of this life hit. We can be in His Word daily; investing time in our relationship with Him. We can have our house in order – things in place such as schedules, finances, relationships with family members – so that the trial might be shorter and we are more prepared. I assumed on my first run that if I “showed up”; I’d get through. That is so unwise! The Lord has given us everything that we need that pertains to life and godliness, but it doesn’t just fall in our laps. We have to put it in!
Do a check-up on your life: Are there things out of order that you need to get right before your next trial hits?
Have you been putting His word into your heart so that you have the hydration you’ll need in your run?
Find a “running” partner. Life is hard. Make sure you have another believer that you can count on to encourage you on your hills and you can encourage in return!
Power verses: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Ephesians 6:10-11, 13 – 15 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…Therefore put on the full armor of God, sot that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” NIV