Did you know the first ever marathon ran in history was by a Greek soldier? He ran from the city of Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. He ran an approximate 26 miles to deliver the good news of their victory.
Who knew that one man’s race for victory over 1,500 years ago, was setting the stage for the race many would run known as a marathon. I can’t even imagine running 26 miles after fighting in a battle, probably not having that much food or water and running in sandals (I don’t think they had running shoes back then)! My body would feel tired, hungry and exhausted if I didn’t get enough food, water or sleep. This motivated Greek soldier didn’t exactly train for those 26 miles, he just ran!
Well anyone who has ran a marathon knows going out to run 26 miles the first day isn’t the best way to run this long race. There needs to be a gradual increase of miles over weeks and months. Rest periods need to be incorporated as well as adequate nutrition, hydration and sleep to be able to perform well enough to cross the finish line.
Running races can be compared to the race we run in life.
How do you run this race of life? As a sprint or a marathon?
Do you live life like a sprint, trying to rush through life getting many things done in the little time you have? I for one have tried to live life both ways and found sprinting through life doesn’t get me anywhere faster except more weary and depleted. When I try to speed through life taking short cuts, I end up missing all of God’s blessings He intended for me along the way. I usually have to backtrack my steps in order to get back to where I originally started. I realized speeding through the process never got me anywhere anyway.
In my stubbornness and disobedience God has showed me…..
Taking the marathon approach to life may be harder and longer but the reward is so worth it in the end.
So how can we make it to the end when there are days where life feels so heavy and defeated like we are climbing up a steep mountain going nowhere?
Or there are days we feel as though we can’t take another step or carry any more burdens weighing heavy on our hearts?
Everyone’s race of life looks different. Maybe you or a loved one is battling cancer. Maybe you have gone through a failed marriage. Maybe you have a prodigal son or daughter, praying they will return home one day. Maybe you are a widow. Maybe you are struggling financially trying to make ends meet. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you have an estranged or strained relationship hoping it will be restored. Maybe you battle addictions or are enslaved to your circumstances. Maybe you have gone through a terrible loss.
These trials and struggles we face can be so heavy and burdensome.
Whatever race we are running, know God is with us and He never leaves.
When there are days we are weary and burdened and the finish line seems so far away– rest in what God is able to do for us.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
How will we ever be able to run this race and persevere to the end if we don’t allow God to carry our burdens or seek him to find rest?
God can carry our burdens for us much better than we can do on our own. This race we run, is not for nothing. The pain we go through is not to be wasted. God cares about the struggles we endure and go through. We can always turn to Him and seek Him for our every need.
”…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
Carrying our heavy burdens on our own makes persevering to the end so much harder.
How do you run this race of life? With God holding your hand or trying to run on your own?
I am encouraged by the runner in the picture running on the pages of her Bible. Whatever race we run when we seek God we will always persevere when we allow him to have our struggles. We will always persevere when we stand in his presence and allow his truth to be alive in our lives. We will always persevere when we hold onto his promises that “now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22).
In the marathon race we run, there will be days we are weary and need his strength—then God reminds me, Maranatha “Our Lord is Coming.”
“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” Revelations 22:7
No matter what happens in this life we can rejoice because our Lord is coming. Until then we will keep running this marathon until Maranatha, the day our Lord will come. I promise you the reward is greater than anything we could ever imagine. The enemy would like nothing more than to defeat and destroy us. He can never change what God has already done for us. Keep running the good race, the Lord is with you.