I went on a park run today. I started at the back of the grid, but I started well, and I was feeling good. With 4k down and 1k to go I was on course to beat my Personal Best.
Then suddenly I got a sharp pain in my ankle and I had to stop running immediately. It was even a struggle to walk. I considered giving up there and then because I’ve never experienced that kind of pain before. As I limped along the side some thoughts went through my head.
I had run the same race last week with no trouble at all it seemed easy - so why was it a struggle now?
I thought about our Christian walk and our various situations in life and about how sometimes we can face the same or similar temptations or struggles which we have conquered before (by the grace of God) with what felt like ease - but facing them again isn’t always as straight forward. It could be a challenge which God previously helped you to overcome, maybe even in a short period like two weeks but this time it’s taking two years. Or it may be a temptation you defeated so many years ago only for it to re-occur.
I think the focus in the race of life isn’t necessarily about improving your personal best but finishing it knowing that it is God’s grace that brought you through and making sure we don’t give up even when we don’t understand why something is difficult.
I did eventually finished the park run, and my time was as bad as I feared. But I pray that this encourages you to persevere and helps each of us facing difficult times to let God finish the work he started in us.