A couple of months ago I began to train for an upcoming half marathon. I began to train every Saturday, and became involved in any 5k race available. As I was running, God began to speak to me in such a clear manner.
One Saturday, as I was running my usual six mile run, I could not help but think about what Paul said about our Christian run in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.
As I contemplated the verse in my mind, I pondered, What are you trying to tell me Lord? The similarities between my long distance run and our Christian run became evident.
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While I was running and the sun began to beam on me, my immediate thought was, I am glad I am not carrying extra unnecessary weight or baggage. In our Christian run, when the Sun (Jesus) begins to beam on us we begin to notice all the extra baggage in our lives. The closer you get to the light, the more you will be exposed. To be exposed is a great thing, but many times the enemy tries to bring shame, causing us to run back to darkness and hide. When the sun beams, it is time to let go of hidden sin and unhealed pain that can hinder the continuance of the run ahead.
There is a part of the run that gets really hard. If you have experience with running, you know that when it gets challenging and you push through eventually your endorphins will kick in and your body then goes into autopilot (your adrenaline rush becomes evident and you are no longer tired). This part of the run can resemble the wilderness season with God.
If you’ve had a relationship with God for some time you know that the wilderness (a season where life gets hard and you may feel stuck) will not last forever. Wilderness does not mean that God is far away, but it is an invitation to go deeper in intimacy with the Holy Spirit. It is an invitation for your roots to go deeper.
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In the beginning of a 5k, you are running with many people, you hear the screams of encouragement and people taking your photo. However, there is a section of the run where you find yourself alone. Your phone battery is dead, no music is played, no screams of encouragement or photos taken. You are tired, and there is a desire within you to quit.
When the cameras are off, and we find ourself exhausted and alone, we have a decision to make:
Will we continue to run or will we give up?
Will we keep our eyes on Jesus and keep running?
Or, will we get distracted and go back to our old ways?
It is easy to run when we have people around to spur us on. But when the cameras are off and no one is there, are we still faithful?