While on a 5 mile run, I was thinking of and praying for my friends who are training for upcoming marathons and I realized faith is like marathon training. In case you didnâ€™t know, a marathon is 26.2 miles and takes about 5-6 months to train for.
Just like marathon training, faith takes dedication, motivation and a desire to see the end result. For a marathon, itâ€™s the finish line and your cheering family you want to see, for faith it is to see your prayers answered. Below are a few tips to keep running in your faith.
- You need information. A training plan, nutrition, and proper running gear are all needed prior to training. I needed to tape my shins, buy the right sports bra, wear compression shorts/socks and carry a water-bag for my race. To run a marathon, you have to do what is necessary to finish the race. A Bible, a church that teaches you the Word of God in a way you can understand and apply and a prayer life are all necessary to grow your faith, so you can keep running.
- There will be times when you donâ€™t want to run 4 days a week and days when you don’t feel like running those 10, 15, 20, 23 miles…there will be days you don’t feel like going to church, reading your Bible, praying. You can’t be successful in either if you don’t put in the time and the energy. It takes effort to train; it takes effort to trust and believe God, and to keep running.
- You have to kindly ignore those who donâ€™t have your vision. As I trained for the Marine Corp Marathon, non-runners would say things like, â€œI could never do thatâ€ or â€œyou are crazyâ€. Itâ€™s the same with faith. People who havenâ€™t trusted God for anything or seen their prayers answered will say you are crazy or tell you their defeated truth. Speak your truth in love, love them from a distance and keep running.
- Skipping training runs and poor nutrition will produce injuries and slow down your progress. With faith, there are no shortcuts either. There is no skipping prayer. You canâ€™t miss your time reading Godâ€™s Word. This will only slow down progress to what you are believing God for, so keep running.
- Quitting before you see results, will produce no results at all. I had a setback during the marathon at mile 22. I fainted after using the port-a-potty and was actually carried to the medic tent by two Marines(imagine what you see in the movies â€“ yup, that was me). I was 4.2 miles away from the finish line.
I had a choice when I saw them opening up IV bags: receive the IV for immediate fluids but not finish the race or drink large quantities of Gatorade slowly and hobble/walk/crawl to the finish line. I chose the latter and finished 6 minutes before the race finished. I wanted that medal and I GOT MY MEDAL!!! We canâ€™t quit on our faith, no matter what your situation looks like. a sick child, a husband who is tripping, or even low funds, you got this. You may be just at the point of your breakthrough and just need to keep running.
(*Sidenote â€“ After coming out of the medic tent, I walked up on a guy who asked to use our phone. He called his wife to come pick him up; we were at the 24th mile. At first I thought he was joking until he walked away and into a Starbucks to wait for her. He quit with only 2 miles left.*)
2 Tim 4:7 says, â€œI have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.â€
So today, donâ€™t give up! Keep running for what you believe! It will happen if you donâ€™t quit!