LEARN TO ENJOY THE RUN. I am a runner. For years, I averaged 20 miles a week, 1000 miles a year. As I have aged, I have slowed down quite a bit, but I still consistently run at least 3 days a week. I have to rest more now that I’m older, so I add weight training and ride the exercise bike the other 3 days. This year makes 30 years of consistent running. I still love to run even though it’s more painful now because I found the secret to running- find joy in the run.
For years, I had a wrong mindset about it and would drudge through my run, feeling miserable, thinking I had to just get it done. But now, I enjoy it. Not because I am a sick sadist that finds pleasure in pain; but rather I use that time to talk to the Lord, I look at my surroundings and see the beauty, I chat with my husband and my daughter while we run. Often, I’m visiting other places and get to see new sites or run with new people.
There’s something about running that opens up others to talk, maybe it’s the pain or maybe it’s a distraction from the pain. So, I look forward to my run time. But what I enjoy even more, is how I feel after I am done. I feel accomplished. There’s a runner’s high that’s like no other. I look forward to the joy on the other side. If you’re paying attention, you would catch the subtleties. There’s a sermon in here.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
I had a someone once tell me, “Find the gold in your struggle.” Through every trial, struggle, pain and suffering; God is still good and He will speak to you as you learn to draw near to Him. He will never waste your pain. He is looking to do something in you through every struggle. Press in to the pain, don’t run from it and don’t just “endure”, learn from it. If I could go back and tell the younger me one thing, it would be to embrace my trials and learn from them instead of whining and complaining, “why me?” What I know now is that we learn more from our struggles and trials than we do our victories. God is forming in us golden character and purifying our hearts and minds through the trial.
He has given you everything you need in order to get through every single trial, “For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).” 2 Peter 1:3
If you are a grumbler and complainer, you might just find yourself in that desert place a little longer than is necessary. Someone needs to preach a sermon on the dangers of complaining. Then you should listen to it. Or better yet, research in Scripture how much God hates complaining and His reaction to the complaints of His people. Complaining reveals a lack of trust in Him and dissatisfaction with His provision. Keep your mouth while going through wilderness places. Find the joy of the Lord through every season, seek for the gold in every trial. Enjoy the run. For the joy of the Lord is your strength.
To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page