Have you ever been in full stride, working towards a goal, when something happened to stop you in your tracks? The races we run sometimes change without warning. It’s like God pulling a switch-a-roo and sending us in a new direction. Running the race of faith is full of surprises.

My surprise came when a brain tumor showed up just thirteen days before I was to run a half marathon. I’d been training for months and just about cried when my surgeon halted all activity, I couldn’t even walk to the mailbox. It felt like God had snatched the race from my hands. But who am I to question what God was up to?

Running The Race of Faith

Turns out all that training did me some good. The morning after my surgery, lying in bed in the ICU wing, I couldn’t wait to move to a normal recovery room. The only problem was that in order to do that, I needed to be strong enough to use a toilet. Most patients don’t start walking for at least another full day.

Right after breakfast, I asked if they could take out my catheter because I wanted to pee by myself. The faces of my two nurses froze, they raised their eyebrows and said, “Are you sure you’re ready?” I nodded and one of them brought me a bedpan, explaining how this would all work. But I shook my head and pointed to the toilet across the room.

Without a word or a hand, I swung my legs to the side of the bed, stood up, and walked over to the toilet. Then I sat down and peed, to the utter amazement of everyone in the room. The charge nurse couldn’t believe the strength I had and said that every brain surgery patient should train like I did. My half marathon was a bit shorter than I thought it would be, but nothing short of intense.

So, what did I do to keep moving ahead, even though my race looked much different than I anticipated? How can we keep running the race of faith and not get discouraged?

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

Remember God is With You

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Never Forget That God Makes All Things Good

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

Speaking of races, I came across an article written by a collegiate runner about running the race to finish strong. It’s worth a few minutes of your time, especially if you are a runner or learning how to run the race of faith.

What race are you running? How has God kept pace with you when the race changes unexpectedly?

I love hearing your thoughts and responding personally to every comment you share.

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