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Hitting the Wall

"Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame." Isaiah 50:6-8


Long distance runners often talk about hitting the wall. That's the point in a race where your body begins to cry out in pain, your legs feel like concrete, your mental process slows down and the urge to quit is almost overwhelming.

Photo courtest  lusi, rgbstock.com
In order to battle this phenomenon, the athlete develops a strategy ahead of time that will allow him to push past the wall. Perhaps it's a mantra he chants,a change in pace, fluids and snacks he can eat on the run. These strategies deliver renewed energy, both physical and mental, that allow him to push past the wall, to experience the victory of finishing the race and finishing it strong.

Sometimes as Christians, we're running the race of life when suddenly we hit the wall, spiritually. Life is not a sprint, it's a marathon and at some point we all find ourselves worn out, beat down and barely trudging along. Our once strong faith has been stretched to the limit and we may find ourselves wondering if we are running this race solo.

Just like the athlete, we need a predetermined strategy to assure that we are able to fortify ourselves for the next leg of the race.  Here are some of the things that have helped me when I find myself spiritually exhausted.

  • Slow the pace - trim excess activities from your schedule until you catch a second wind.
"He says, “Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

"But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31
  •  Nourish yourself - spend time in the Word of God and prayer
"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,"  1 Peter 2:2

"Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 4:4
  •  Talk with the "coach" - spend time in prayer, asking God to renew your strength
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
  • Find some cheerleaders - develop friendships with other believers so that you can mutually encourage one another through the race.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • Beware of sabotage - you have an enemy and he will use whatever he can, be it circumstances or other people to trip you up. Be prepared to avoid any temptation and overcome any obstacle he puts in your way.
 "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you." Galatians 5:7-8
  • Keep your eye on the finish line - this life is temporary, but we have a prize at the end of this race that far out weighs the difficulties and challenges we experience here.
"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14 
  • Remember, you are not running this race alone
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 
  • Take time to enjoy the scenery along the way
"put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." 1 Timothy 6:17b 

Photo courtesy Ambroz, rgbstock.com
It's a beautiful world we live in, created by our Heavenly Father. His plan is for us to enjoy our time here, to take in the majestic mountains, lush foliage, brilliantly colored flowers, amazing wildlife, develop loving relationships with others and most of all, to love Him with all our heart, with all our soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)

Enjoy the race and FINISH STRONG!

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

2 comments:

Denise said...

What a great post Jan! This is a great reminder to print when I feel "undernourished" and need some spiritual reminders. At times I think we all get run-down and feel defeated, but all we have to do is go to our God for recovery and strength! :)

Blessings and love,
Denise

Jan Christiansen said...

Thanks, Denise. I was just thinking that I need to print this out as a reminder to MYSELF!

Hmmmm - I wonder if there's an easy way to make a Printer Friendly link on the blog. I usually us the copy/paste method to keep from printing out things I don't want included. I'll have to look into that.