Training for the Race of Life.....Days 94 and 95 (Running with Perseverance)

Training for the Race of Life……Days 94 and 95

            Yesterday was just simply another day of rest as I prepared for a long run tomorrow.  I had a lot of things that I needed to do but it was nice to rest from running and to get prepared for what tomorrow and tomorrow’s run would hold.  Almost every time I run I feel as if God is teaching me something about Himself or His word or His church.  So I look forward to each run and I believe that each long run provides a really good learning opportunity.  And yet to maximize those runs you need to be well rested, I have learned that the hard way before to be sure.

            Today I eagerly anticipated heading out and getting a long run in.  I chose to run at a local park so that I might enjoy some relatively new scenery as I prepared to run for almost 4 hours.  Before it was over I got in around 17 miles with a combination of running and walking.  It was the longest run that I had ever been a part of and I was definitely excited and feeling like the marathon was more and more within reach. 

            What did I learn as I ran today? I think I learned the value of perseverance.  The Bible says that “the testing of our faith produces perseverance”, well certainly my faith wasn’t tested today (in fact it was strengthened) but my limits were certainly tested and hopefully that is producing within me a physical perseverance.  And yet as value as physical perseverance is, it is far more important to have perseverance for life isn’t it.

            Paul knew that and he himself was faced with some terribly demanding times.  In fact he likens some of his situations to a race (or a marathon) and says let us “run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”  In other words let us endure as we go throughout this life, knowing that many times we will encounter difficulties and hardships, and yet also knowing that as we keep our eyes on Jesus, He helps us to endure.

            That is why Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  What was he talking about? He was talking about his situation of being in prison (he was imprisoned for sharing the Gospel), and how he was going to get through that situation.  The only way I can get through, Paul says is through Jesus.  Through the hope that he gives me, through His love, and through His strength. 

            Do Paul’s words apply to us? Yes! I think that we do can endure whatever hardship that we have to endure while in this world through the power of God and through the hope that only Jesus can give us.  And He does give strength doesn’t He? In the book of Zechariah, chapter 4, God says, “not by power nor by might but by my Spirit.” God strengthens us through His spirit, and His strength enables us to persevere.  He also gives hope doesn’t He? And as the Bible says, “it is a hope that does not disappoint.”  It is a hope of eternal life, the hope that this world is not all there is, and as we run throughout this life, keeping our eyes on Him, He gives us that hope, and that hope enables us to persevere.  So keep running with Jesus, and as you go throughout this life, know that as you rely upon Him, He will give you the perseverance that you need.