Saturday, May 4, 2013

Running the Race of Pain

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever”
(I Corinthians 9:24).

Lately I have been reminded of the fact that I can’t run – or even walk well.  I have seen countless cars with stickers for running half or full marathons.  Two of my daughters ran in a mud run.  And our area is again hosting the Marine Corps Half Marathon race.

Years ago I exercised faithfully and enjoyed staying in shape.  Giving that up due to back pain was very difficult, and at times like these I still struggle with that loss.

As I noticed yet another marathon sticker, I realized that those of us with health problems run a race with pain every day.  Serious runners are in continual training mode and so are we.  This may involve our diets (because we can’t eat certain foods), our sleep (or lack of it), and our activities.  We are continually adjusting and reworking our lives to accommodate our limitations.  We live and breathe our training.

All of this is quite exhausting.  Yet at the end of each day, God enables us to win our race.  On less painful days the race may seem like a stroll through the park.  Other days it may be a marathon.  We may run this race on foot, with a cane, in a wheelchair, or in bed.  But whether we end the day standing up straight in victory or unable to stand at all, we have won.

I don’t need to envy any runners.  I am one.  One day I will be able to run a literal marathon and perhaps I will.  But somehow I don’t think that satisfaction will compare to the knowledge that right now I am persevering with God through my race of pain.  I want to keep running, regardless of how exhausted I am, until I run right up to God’s finish line and get that crown of life.  And because of His mercy and strength, I will.

Prayer:  Lord, you have chosen me to run in this race of pain.  Continue to give me the endurance and perseverance I need to run this race to the end, and to do it for Your glory.  Amen.



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