I’ve run a few marathons over the years … each of them was different … each of them was long (26.2 miles long in fact!). I especially remember my 2ndmarathon … White Rock Marathon right here in Dallas. I started the marathon with high hopes… Things were going pretty well, training was adequate, legs had been hardened over the previous 6 weeks with long training runs. But at the 20 mile marker I was beginning to really hurt… felt like I couldn’t go another step! An old bicycle injury was causing my right knee to “bark” at me, just like a dog! I decided it was time to “have a serious conversation” with my body! It was NOT going to tell me what to do! … I was going to inform it that I was going to finish this road race!… Anyone running next to me had to think I was crazy… In a rather loud voice I informed my body of that fact… I pushed through the pain, kind of limping along, got past the pain and finished the entire race “with a sprint”!! Incredible elation and personal victory!!
Thought of that this morning as I read these words from Hebrews 10.32-36 NIV:
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. YOU NEED TO PERSEVERE SO THAT WHEN YOU HAVE DONE THE WILL OF GOD, YOU WILL RECEIVE WHAT HE HAS PROMISED.”
Just take it from this ol’ guy… The victorious Christian life is not like a sprint…it’s more like a marathon!! (The 1st Century Christians referred to in this passage understood that!) I urge you, hang in there, push past the challenges (even the pain). Trust God to provide the strength you need. Reach deep within, depend on what you’ve built into your life though your day-to-day Christian living. Believe me, you’ll find “a 2nd wind”, God will be faithful, He’ll help you, He’ll empower you by the Holy Spirit, and I believe you’ll “finish with a sprint”! It will be worth it all!