A little over a week ago, I was able to mark something off of my bucket list. I took on and finished my first full marathon! 26.2 miles under my belt, or if you ran it here on Guam, 42 kilometers! I never dreamed that I would be able to accomplish such an extraordinary dream all on my own. I didn’t have a running buddy throughout training and I certainly didn’t have one during the actual race, where I was forced to stretch my limits and push harder than I ever have before. To be honest, before actually running the race, during my training time, the actual idea of running the race was just that. An idea. A fairytale. A dream. Looking back now and thinking about the hard work and long hours, everything that I was doing was all to teach me about my walk with God. I want to share with you all what I have learned over the past few weeks, and even months.
First things first, earlier I wrote that I never imagined tackling this marathon on my own, and truthfully, I felt that way throughout a huge portion of my training, but under no circumstances was I ever alone. Every step, every mile and every moment my Father God was right there with me. So, let me begin by making sure we are all on the same page. This walk with God is exactly that! A WALK WITH GOD! If you are a Christian, a believer in Christ, then every day of your life is walking with God. That’s what your life is supposed to be. A walk with Him.
For many months, I trained to increase my mileage. Each week, I would push harder and run farther. It was fun most weeks, but there were always times when I wished that I had someone to run with. How relatable is that to our walk? I mean, let’s be real. How often are we struggling with something in our life and all we want is to have someone to cry to, to comfort us and to be able to lift us up? I can look back on my life and see seasons where God just had me on my own. There wasn’t anyone there for me. I couldn’t reach my parents, siblings or other members of the body of Christ. I didn’t have anyone to lift me up. But let me tell you something, in those seasons of loneliness, the very moment that I turned my eyes from my being alone and placed them on my God and King, I got my praise back! The Bible says that in our weakness, He is strong! I forget that truth too often. Yes, The Word is very clear that we are the body of Christ and must be there to lift each other off the ground and pull each other out of the pit. “Iron sharpens iron,” right? Yes, absolutely! But sometimes, we must learn to place our confidence in God and God alone.
The Bible says, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7&8
For those of you that are in this season right now, I encourage you to keep on fighting. Just hang on to the Word of God. Be thankful for this season, for the grass is greener on the other side, in Jesus’ name.
I mentioned increasing mileage. I can’t skip over that because it’s probably the most important part of this entire article. The training that I did each day to prepare for my race is the main reason why I was able to finish. We have an obligation to our training. That is, reading the Word, praying and conversing with God, spending real time with Him and WALKING with Him each day. That is how you “increase mileage.” By training, with Father God, you will go further than you ever dreamed possible.
Now, race day.
It’s all about endurance.
Endurance is defined as the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
I can’t possibly know what you are going through or what you go through everyday. I’m hear to tell you that the torment or trials you face, WILL BE WORTH IT. Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
James 1:2-4, 12
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing…12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
My hope and prayer, for each of us, is that we would never become so beat down that we can no longer continue to press on and push forward. Remember that everything that you do is for God’s glory and when you give glory to Him, He lifts you up and rewards you.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Never forget what you are fighting for. I urge you to take a step back today and ask God to remind you of who you are in Him and what your role is. At the end of my days, I want to be able to rest in this truth: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
That’s what I want for all of us. Just as I crossed the finish line, a woman placed a medal around my neck. I felt so much accomplishment in that moment and it made me think, “what will it be like to see my Father and hear Him say ‘well done, my good and faithful servant?'”
My goal is to spend all of my days with Jesus and to bring as many folks as I possibly can to glory with me. So, I will walk with Him on these streets down here, until I can walk with Him on His golden streets, up there.
The Lord bless you and keep you!