Thursday, December 17, 2009

Running Persistently

2 Samuel 22:33-34
God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

Bob Kempainen was determined to make the 1996 U.S. Men's Olympic marathon team. He was willing to go to any lengths, no matter how gut wrenching. On a hilly course in Charlotte, NC, he won the trials--but was sick 5 times in the last 2 miles. Kempainen, the American record-holder in the marathon, had experienced stomach problems since junior high school. But that hasn't kept this medical student from pursuing marathoning.

"To stop was out of the question," he said, when asked about his physical condition. With the goal in sight, he knew there would be plenty of time to rest after the race and 5 months to prepare for Atlanta.

When God puts a desire in your heart to achieve a specific goal, you can have the confidence that He will give you the strength and the ability to accomplish it. Every person has their own obstacles to overcome in life. In Kempainen's case, the condition of his stomach is trying to hinder him from winning the marathon race at the Olympics. In your life it will be something else. But we all face difficulties and challenges on the road to success--and the difference between those who succeed and those who fail is simply persistence.

Life is not a level, smooth path, but rather a series of hills and valleys. There are times spent on the moutain top, when everything seems clear and perfect. Then there are those times when we feel like we're wandering around in a dark cavern, feeling our way along and trusting God for every step of faith.

A runner gets a "second wind" after forcing himself to go on when he feels like he can't. We feel the joy of God's Spirit lift us up and carry us on when we choose to continue in faith, no matter how we feel or what's going on around us.

Take a moment and set your heart to be persistent in your faith--faith in God to lead you, pick you up when you have fallen, give you strength to go on, and ultimately bring you to victory.

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