Training for the Race of Life......Day 81 (Doubt)

Training for the Race of Life…..Day 81 (Doubt)
 Today was my long run day, and I was able to complete most of the miles that I set out to complete, about 15 in all.  Up until this point I have been extremely enthusiastic about the upcoming Marathon, thinking of how I can’t wait for it to get here and how much I love to train and all of that.  Today however some doubt began to creep in. 
 I’ve logged a lot of miles getting ready for that day (which is quickly approaching, its less than 60 days away now).  In fact I’ve probably ran almost 350 miles already as the time draws near and I know that I have many more miles to log, but I couldn’t help but wonder are these miles getting me ready for the race.  Are they preparing me to run 26.2 miles?  I mean some of them (in fact a lot of them lately) have been on a treadmill.  A few of them have even been on an elliptical machine, and some of them I haven’t ran but I’ve walked (by design).  So in my mind I said “am I really going to be ready in a little over 50 days to run 26. 2 miles?”
 Not only that but I’ve experienced a lot of foot pain.  At times I’ve had to push through and at times I haven’t wanted to.  Then to top it off I won’t get to run any of the course before the race (even though that has never bothered me with the 5ks and 10k that I’ve ran), plus who knows what the weather would be.  My mind was throwing all kinds of reasons at me why I shouldn’t do it.  But in the end it boils down to doubt - I was doubting in myself that I had it in me to run 26.2 miles (which is probably going to take me a little over or a little under 5 hours). 
 I was doubting, even during and after today’s long run I was doubting.  People told me it would happen and I’ve been assured that most people who undertake the rigors of training for and running a marathon go through a time of doubt as they prepare for their first one.  Yet as excited and as enthusiastic as I’ve been I thought, “it’ll never happen to me.”  (People assure me that this too is normal, but I’m not sure.  I guess that is normal too).
 Doubt can be normal can’t it?  We may not want to admit it but we have all doubted in ourselves.  And from time to time we have even doubted God.  That is not an easy thing to admit is it? But most people, even those with great faith, go through times of doubt.  In the New Testament there is a great story of a man who comes to Jesus to ask for healing for his child, and yet the man admits “I want to believe but I doubt.  Lord help my unbelief.”  And God in His grace and mercy and power steps in and heals the child anyway.  Heals him even in the midst of doubt! But such is the amazing grace of God.  That man’s prayer was “help my unbelief”, and I guarantee you this, God answered that prayer, and his unbelief became faith.  Even though he doubted God continued to love him and then in a great act of grace, God transformed his doubt into something beautiful. 
 We doubt from time to time, whether we want to admit it or not.  And yet in the midst of our doubt and questions God still loves us and He wants us to grow closer to Him even in those moments and if we cry out to Him, He will transform our doubt and us as well.  What a mighty God we serve! So keep running with Him and keep trusting Him even when doubt tries to creep in.