If anyone had told me over a year ago that I would be a marathon runner, I would have said, “You are insane!” After completing my first half-marathon, I remember asking my father how anyone would purposely run that kind of distance? I mean, anyone who would run 26.2 distance would have to be insane!
I’m a mother and a writer who, prior to running, enjoyed messy crafts and an easy going lifestyle. I always enjoyed running for stress relief, but never entertained the thought of long distance running. I really never challenged myself or set higher goals for myself except just pounding the pavement to relieve stress. But it happened. After completing my first half-marathon, I turned that race into training for my first full marathon 26.2. Roughly 16 weeks of training, many mornings of getting up before dawn, running in the late evenings, long gruesome runs, acquiring a new found taste of Gu, and 2 pairs of running shoes later, I completed 26.2 miles. I pushed. I sweat. I burned. I cried. I finished strong, and I am sure I will never be the same.
Until I set new personal goals for myself and made God my Faithful Trainer, I did not make my relationship with God the main focus of my life. Running and endurance training taught me so much about the Christian race and even more about my relationship with God. I depended on Him, prayed with Him, trained with Him and came to realize that I could not run without His strength. I was now running for Him.
During my journey, I felt as if He was preparing me mentally, physically and spiritually for something. After my training was over, I felt as if God was nudging me to move. I wanted to do more, move more, but I didn’t know how or in what way. Sometimes, God requires you to make the first step and wants you to develop some discipline and put in the legwork. That is why I started writing this runners devotion and blog and how I discovered the Run for God ministry.
Sometimes the first step is just being willing. I think about Isaiah. When God asks, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” Isaiah steps up and says, “Here I am. Send me” (Isaiah 6:9). That is a perfect example. After that, God had something to work with, and now Isaiah is considered one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament.
Now, God makes something out of nothing all the time. Yes, He could just wave His hand and change a situation with little to no effort on our parts. However, I’d venture to say that most of the dreams in your heart are not things that will develop overnight. They will take preparation. They will require some, if not, a lot of, hard work on your part. Don’t be afraid of pain. Sometimes, it’s here to help.
Like I said, I learned a lot from my training. I discovered what God could do by pushing the limits of what I could do including pushing me out of my comfort zone and trusting Him completely to lead a group to run for Him. I learned that there’s no such thing as, “I am not big enough or prepared enough,” because there he prepares us… and God will use you to get you to where He wants you to go.
So, 5 marathons, 2 Run for God seasons later, I discovered God had a plan for me all along and He has a plan for you tool. He provides grace for us to carry out His works. We serve a “God of Wonders” who created you to be full of surprises. If you’re willing to set your mind on success, put in the hard work and believe God when He promises you strength for today, there really is nothing you can’t do.