I can’t believe I did it. Somehow, I committed myself to running a half marathon with some friends. That’s 13.1 miles! How did I get myself into this? It is true that I enjoy running, but this is taking it all a bit far. See, for someone like myself who easily becomes bored with exercising, this is big!
Over the years, I have discovered something about myself that I am not too proud of. I am not highly motivated. When I run, if I am running alone, I stop to walk up the hills, but when I am running with a friend, I keep going. In fact, just this week I ran 8 miles without stopping! All because I had someone who ran with me.
My running habits look a lot like my faith habits. Ecclesiates 4:9 - 12 says it all: "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall (or want to quit like me!), one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone with he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (NKJV)
I need friends. I need ones who will come along side of me and encourage me to pursue Jesus. I need ones who will be honest with me and push me to grow.
Maybe you too are like me. You also need a friend to come along side of you to encourage you to keep going; to push yourself up that spiritual hill and become stronger. If you already have that friend, let them know that you are counting on them to support you in this race you are running. If you don’t, ask the Lord to bring you a friend that will not only encourage you, but that you can encourage in return. You just might be the answer to someone’s prayer today.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, Thank you for always being beside as I run this race called life. Please help me to find another friend who will not only run along with me, but one that I can encourage as well. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
Think About It:
Do I tend to want to give up in my run with Jesus when I hit a hill or am I the type who digs in and pushes on?
Do I have a friend in my life already that I need to be encouraging, even when it might feel a little weird to talk about our faith? Do I need to pray for a new friend?
How about my parents? Consider sharing with them that you need a little support to keep heading up the hills in your life.
What are some practical ways that you can encourage your friends? Try one of the following:
· Invite them to a Christian club at school or your youth group.
· Ask them how you can pray for them.
· Memorize a verse together that talks about something you are both struggling with.
· Pray together for some mutual friends who need to know Jesus
2 Timothy 4:6 & 7 The Message “You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way!”
Hebrews 12:1 – 3 The Message “Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside of God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Philippians 3: 14 The Message “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”