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,--Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Staying the Course, 6 More Miles Today

The Run

Today's running weather was perfect for a long run, or even a marathon. Temps in the low 30s early, not even reaching 60 by 11:00 am, but I was only running 6 miles this morning. My first thought was, "Where was this weather on Sunday?" I wrote earlier about the difficulties I faced at the Wrightsville Beach Marathon, and I have to believe things would have gone much better if the weather had been more like today's.

I'm still recovering from Sunday's run. My legs are still a little stiff and I just haven't built my energy level back up to where it was before. So today wasn't the best of runs for me, but the Good Lord got me through it. My average pace was 10:12 for the total distance, which isn't too bad in and of itself. I'm usually pretty satisfied with a 10 minute pace on a 6 mile training run. The thing about today was my lack of consistency. My slowest mile was at a 10:45 pace, my fastest a 9:54.

The best thing about today's run though was no sign of injury. Two runs after the marathon and my joints and muscles aren't screaming for me to quit. I've logged more than 450 miles in 2013 already, including two marathons, a half marathon, and a 15K race, and we're not even a fourth of the way through the year! The Good Lord blessed me with PRs at everyone of those distances too!

So I'm not going to complain when the weather isn't perfect for a race. I'm just going to be happy and thankful that Jesus let's me keep getting out and pounding the pavement!

The Message

Like I mentioned above, my first thought was to complain that this perfect marathon weather waited until after the race, that on race day the temperatures made for a really tough run. But then I have to remember who controls the weather, and that He has a plan that's greater than I can comprehend. If I'm really going to practice what I preach, practice what the Bible says, and really trust Jesus in every situation, I don't have a right to complain when things get a little tough, or when His timing doesn't seem right for ME.
"For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery." -- Ecclesiastes 8:6

That's what we have to remember, even when things don't go our way, or when God's timing doesn't seem to fit our schedule. We have to trust that His timing is proper and perfect, timed not for our comfort or glory, but to accomplish His will. Just like the other day at the marathon, all those people who passed me who read my shirt and saw the sign on my back. How many of those would never have passed me if I'd have had a "better" race? And what about the lady who volunteered at an aid station who emailed me about her struggles with faith? Would I have passed when she was busy with something or someone else if I hadn't struggled that day? Who knows?
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -- Galatians 6:9

So often when things don't go our way, we choose to give up, to stop and wait for a better day to keep going. But the Bible tells us to keep going, even when the deck seems stacked against us. We can't "weary" in doing God's will, not even when everything looks to be working to stop us. Best of all, we're promised all our efforts, our perseverance will be rewarded in God's time.

If you're in God's Word, listening for His voice, and following His will, everything will work for the best, for your best and the best for others you influence. But don't be surprised if you're giving it your all, doing your very best to please God, and things don't come easy. Stick it out though, stay the course, and know that if you're in God's will, everything will work out.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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