On Friday, I ran my first 5K race with my sister and dear friend. Even now, five days after the fact, I still kind of can’t believe we did it! I am not so much amazed that we actually ran a 5K but more so that I finished the training program for the 5K.
For some reason I have a hard time finishing things. Especially a training program for a 5K. I have started and stopped the program time and time again. I never made it past week 5 of 9. It really annoys me that I am like this. I am not naturally a very goal oriented person. I enjoying making and having goals in my life, but when it comes to accomplishing those very goals, I struggle.
This last “time” around, doing this program alongside of my dear sister and friend made a huge difference. We held each other accountable. We let one another know when we finished each run. We encouraged one another. We supported one another. I truly would not have wanted to go through this training without either of them.
There is someone else I could not have gotten through this training without, my Best Friend, God. There were so many times I wanted to stop running. Each time I would simply repeat over and over, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” believing these words God proved faithful and helped me finish when I was ready to give up.
God has been teaching me quite a few things while running that I feel compelled to share with you!
Towards the end of the training you just run for 20, 25, 28 and then 30 minutes straight. It was in these longer runs that I needed God more than ever, at first any way! Right around 5 minutes of running my ankles began to tingle. It is that moment where you can either stop the pain or push through it. In that moment of choosing to push through it seems as though the pain is going to last for the remainder of the run. Just minutes after making that choice to continue to run, the pain truly does go away. Then right about when you have only 5 minutes left in the run, you feel like you don’t have any strength left and need to stop! Again, you can choose to stop or to keep going. If you keep going, you will find that when you finally reach the 20, 25, or 30 minute mark you feel like you would be able to keep on running!
I cannot help but relate this to life. This life is not easy, it was never intended to be. So often we are running through life on the path God has for us. We are so set on finishing the race in Heaven with God one day. Then something so unexpected happens and tries to keep us from running on the course God has for us. We are faced with the choice to stop in pain, or push through. We think we need to be the ones to push through, when in fact God is waiting patiently for us to find our strength in Him alone. I think this is one of the most comforting truths for me: God never asks us to do something that He will not be there to help us through. Yes, it will be hard, more than we (in our own strength) can handle, and indeed painful; however God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He promises to be our strength. He promises to be our Helper. With God we can finish the race marked out for us. So often we want to stop short because we cannot imagine the thought of taking one more step. In that moment, we need to repeat God’s promises and get rid of the lies!
Finally completing this training program has been such an encouragement to me. It reminded me that God does not expect me to do the things He asks of me alone. He wants me to do them with Him. God has been faithful to me with running, giving me the strength I need and I know He will be forevermore. The next time I want to give up on something He is asking me to do because it seems impossible, the next time I want to stop because the pain is too great, I will remember I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!