This was to be the year. My husband and I would spend the summer training and would then run a 5K together in the fall. We began the training period with anticipation of getting in better shape, improving our stamina, losing some weight and finally, running the race together.
But it wasn’t meant to be. The day after Memorial Day, I injured my hip and spent the rest of the summer sitting on my sofa with a heating pad or ice pack while my husband continued to train for the race.
This was not how it was supposed to go. I did plenty of complaining to God. I couldn’t understand how He could allow this to happen. Wasn’t it a good thing that I wanted to exercise and get into better shape? Why did the very activity that would get me there actually cause the injury that would keep me on the sidelines for the entire summer?
As I asked God about this, He began to show me something. He brought to mind the verse in Hebrews that we all quote when we think of endurance.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1
While I was focusing on a physical race that would build endurance, God had a different kind of training in mind for me. Instead, He wanted to build up my endurance in a spiritual way. While my husband ran several times a week and worked his body to prepare for the race, I sat in God’s presence, often during sleepless nights and allowed Him to build up my spirit by persevering through pain and discouragement.
We are all in a race of sorts. We all are facing trials and learning to keep going even when we become weary. Everybody’s race looks different. Whatever sort of race you are running, remember that you have the perfect personal trainer.
God knows just what sort of training you need in order to finish well. Allow Him to speak to your heart. Give him your discouragement and frustration as you run your race.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, – Colossians 1:11