Sometimes life requires us to do hard things. I was thinking of this the other day after I finished a pretty tough, long run. I’m in training for a half marathon in May and training requires me to do things I don’t always want to do. All those regular runs, days with my only free time focused on cross training, days spent watching what I fuel my body with-avoiding certain amounts of junk in favor of the healthier things. But it’s all for a purpose, for that one day when I put my toe on the line (so to speak, I won’t be up front at the start-that’s where the elite guys go) and give it my all, my best.
I think life is like that sometimes. After this really hard run, a run that I literally had to psyche myself up for, a run I did not want to even begin, I realized that all I needed to do was take one step. And every single step I took made the next one a little bit easier.
There are many hard things to be done in life; hard things in our relationships, hard things (like discipline) in our parenting, hard decisions to be made concerning our finances or careers. Sometimes life puts some hard things before us, sometimes God asks us to do things that will be very tough. I was encouraged this weekend, as I reflected over the run that I dreaded that ended up not being so bad after all, that when we’re asked to do hard things in life often all we have to do to get going is take that first step. Once that first step is behind us we find that God will give us grace and strength to take the next step, and the one after that.
I know that not one of us likes to do hard things, it’s so much easier to maintain the status quo. But I wonder where the joy of victory comes if there’s never a point of decision that we are going to do what God has set before us, not because it’s easy or simple but because it’s hard and difficult. Because we know that in the hard things we get closer to God, in the hard things we see his character revealed and in the hard things his strength sustains us.
What’s before you today? Is it something hard or unbearably difficult? Be encouraged-rely on God to give you the strength and gumption you need. He’ll do it, all you need to do is ask and then take off-one step at a time.