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What God is Teaching Me About Endurance



I love track and field so in college I decided to try my hand at cross country running. Talk about a mistake.


I'm a sprinter. I love running hard and fast for short distances. It's easy to give it all you have when you can see the finish line just ahead.


But when you're running mile after mile, when you've got long stretches of dirt and asphalt with nothing but the sound of your feet hitting the ground...now that was a challenge.


I hated it.


I admire people who run for hours. I imagine they listen to podcasts? Books? Maybe they pray? I have no idea but one after one grueling practice and I knew I'd never do that again.


Lately God has been showing me how to go the distance, how to press in even with obstacles and it's worked muscles I've never used before.


I shouldn't say never. Motherhood requires pressing in. Out of love, we know how to stay in the game even when we want to throw in the towel, but there's an ever-changing aspect to motherhood that makes it feel like a series of sprints rather than a marathon.


What God has been showing me how to do (partially against my will but I'm with the program now) is how to keep running the race even when my legs and lungs are no longer interested.


My goals have always come pretty easily to me (but even as I type that, God is telling me that's because I tend to set my expectations low). I'm used to winning at what I set out to do because I set my eyes on what I can see myself accomplishing.


But when God is doing a new thing, bringing you to a new level- it'll take staying power that you might not be used to.


I've noticed God tends to do things in batches, with multiple people at the same time, so I know there are others who are experiencing this, too. I don't want you to get left behind so I'm going to share what He's showing me.


If you've ever read Pilgrim's Progress or seen the movie, you know it's about a man on his spiritual journey toward heaven. Along the way he faces challenges like a carnival that represents distraction and meeting the immediate desires of the heart, discouragement, fear, and so many other things.


But Yeshua keeps him and guides him and in the end, he makes it into the kingdom.


As God is lifting you into new levels and taking you to new places, there will be hurdles to leap over. Don't get sidetracked. Don't get entangled with drama. Don't get discouraged and sit down for any extended period of time. Don't let old patters emerge and take over.


Don't harden your heart. God will make a way for you.


Often the devices and strategies that worked in past seasons will be obsolete as God brings you into newness.


The way you breathe when you are running a full sprint isn't the way you breathe when you're running a marathon. I hold my breath when I run fast. I always have. I give it all and the world around me goes silent as I laser focus on my goal.


Marathons are different. You measure your breaths, you listen to your body for any signs of trouble or need.


I've found that as God is bringing me into a place in work and life that I've never been, one with goals higher than I'd ever think to set for myself, I'm brought to a place of new dependence. Any part of myself that would have, in the past, relied on my own devices is silent because it's all new.


This morning, He led me to 1 John 2:28 which starts with, "And now, little children, abide in Him." The whole verse says, "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."


I'm telling you, there are a thousand opportunities for distraction in this hour, but they all lose any attractiveness when you keep in mind Who you're running for and that He's not a long ways off.


As God takes you up, there will be opportunities to be fearful, discouraged, offended, angry for all kinds of things- focus on the race.


One thing sprinting does teach you is how to do is focus all of your energy on a single task. Every muscle has to cooperate and be in absolute agreement.


In this time when God is bringing you up, and I promise- if you know Him, He is bringing you up, that's just what He does- the way you let Him do this is to be in agreement.


Reject everything from the sidelines the enemy presents you with. Reject every alliance with malice, fear...anything from below trying to wrap around your legs and keep you in the same place, cast if off.


You'd think going up with God means harder running, but it doesn't. I've found it just means harder abiding. More intentional abiding. Leaning into him more. Relaxing into Him more than ever because I've never seen this place.


It feels like getting off of a plane in a country I've never been and holding my Father's hand.


Abide with Him. Through prayer, reading His Word, meditating on who He is and all you've been through together as you drive, cook, clean, work. Stay with Him. Keep your mind on Him.


The only way the enemy can get you off of the path in this time is for you to turn your head when he calls or for you to pick up something he hands you.


You don't have to. Stay humble, stay kind, maintain your joy, and abide with Him.


I'm lucky (blessed) that my husband is either running with me, or when it's something I have to do on my way, he's on the sidelines, hyping me up. It hasn't always been that way, though. For a long time it was just me and God. I'd go long periods of time not even talking to another adult. Abba & I developed a lot of intimacy then and I'm grateful.


Even if you have no one nearby or no one who understands your particular race, Yeshua does. There's not a piece or corner of your heart He doesn't know and understand thoroughly. Surrender every broken or troubled edge to Him.


One of my favorite passages is the following because He so perfectly shares His heart.


"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”


Matthew 11:28-29


You can complete your race. Keep going.


love, Bunmi


 

"If you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9-10

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