Overcoming Weakness… in Running and in life

I once read in a running article, “Running doesn’t cause injuries, it reveals weaknesses.”  I wish I could give credit to where I read it, but I can not remember or find the source.  The words, however, struck a cord with me.  As I have increased my mileage over the last year, weaknesses have been revealed!  That one sentence gave me hope and inspiration to continue on.

My first running set-back began in my knees.  Weakness in my knees made going up and down stairs painful; getting up and down off the floor with my baby exhausting; and hitting the trail discouraging, knowing the first 1/4 mile was going to painful.  I decided to share my discouragement with my prayer partner and friend, and the two of us prayed for weeks.  Hebrews 12:12-13 inspired me: “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”  Then I began to research on-line and found that there were strength training exercises and stretches that could help.  I altered my training schedule to include these activities and gave myself “rest days”  or “biking” days.  Now my knees are so much better and I am stronger!  I still have to keep up the extra training and I notice when I let them slip, but I am so encouraged that this can be overcome and I can keep running!

Plantar Fasciitis was the next weakness to rear its ugly head.  (You can read more about my journey with that in this post: https://journeytojesus.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/running-with-jesus/ . ) Through research about this, I have learned to get good shoes, sleep with a brace fit to help this sort of thing, wear inserts where necessary, and do stretches to help strengthen and protect my feet.

Finally, and probably the biggest weakness of all, is wrestling with my mind and my flesh.  I constantly have to fight my laziness and my discouraging thoughts, “You can’t… It’s too hard…It hurts…and I’m tired!”  I fight to eat well.  I love sugar and chocolate and all things considered comfort food.  However, none of those help me on the trail or in my battle to stay strong.  All of these things: my eating, my thoughts, my tired body being pulled in by my comfy down comforter, suck me into my pillow and hold me tight on those cold mornings!  This is my daily wrestle, but my remedy is constant I pray and I read.  The Lord and His Word ALWAYS point me to hope and inspire me and give me purpose for all things.  Reading books, studying training programs and articles, trying new recipes, and making challenges like Crystal Paine’s “15 days to a Healthier You” or “Whole30”  motivate me and get me out of bed, even with my comforter beckoning me back! (https://products.crystalpaine.com/15dhy/   https://whole30.com/ )

The more I run and wrestle with these things, the more I see the need for endurance and strength and rest.  Isn’t this the same on our journey with Jesus?  As it says in the first and second verse of Hebrews 12: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Our journey with Jesus requires laying aside, endurance, strength, and -most of all- rest in Jesus.  When we say “Yes”  to Jesus, a full surrender is required.  Then as we carry our cross with Him, weaknesses are revealed in our actions, in our habits, and in our hearts.  We must pray about these things, lay them aside, and repent.  Jesus is Grace.  He is Forgiveness.  He will help us!  Then as we read His word and seek counsel and guidance, He will lead us to the help we need to run our race with endurance.  He will perfect our faith.  He will motivate and compel us. He will strengthen our “weak knees”.  He will heal us for His glory and His Name’s sake.  Hallelujah!  Thank you Jesus!

 

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By The Goodlin Family

We are a family of 10, now 11 through marriage, seeking Jesus and living for the praise of His glory. Our desire is to encourage each other and others in our daily walk with the Lord, our Journey to Jesus.

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