Almost two months ago, in London, United Kingdom, we watched the Yearly Marathon runners pound the streets. We cheered them on towards the finished line. In the midst of the runners were all types of people, running for different causes. Some were tall, short, round or slim. Some wore banners, costumes and name tags, representing the charity or cause they were running for.
I thought to myself, well I love running, why not sign up for next year’s (2011) marathon race? ... and so I did, and managed to rope about 3 friends into doing so too. God help us. You all have to pray for me eh? However, before we ventured out in our spandex and shiny new trainers, attempting to run the whole 26 miles in one go, we decided to carry out some research on how best to run; combining nutrition, skill, science and good common sense!
What I found and have experienced so far, is quite interesting. Let me share.
Through my research I read and learnt about something a lot of runners come against at least once in their running career. This formidable force is called ‘THE WALL’. Apparently, when one encounters ‘The Wall’ it cannot be explained, however, you will know it when you see , or rather hit it.
One marathon runner – Dick Beardsley, explains how he felt when he hit ‘the wall. He said, “It felt like an elephant had jumped out of a tree onto his shoulders and was making him carry it the rest of the way in the race”. Now that's quite scary! After reading this I pondered on 'what I was thinking or possessed by when I clicked the 'register now' button!
Research also shows that runners encounter ‘the wall’ around the 20+ miles of a marathon race. The symptoms are slowness of pace, sometimes quite considerably too.
However, all is not lost to the runner if he or she hits the wall. The key to overcoming 'the wall' is quite simple. It is to 'TAKE ANOTHER STEP'. Yes, that is it. Take another step, and then another and again another. Even though every fibre in the runner’s being is screaming “I can’t go on”, the runner is encouraged and trained to focus on the goal ahead (crossing the finished line) and WILL him/her self to keep going.
Now, when the runner keeps the process of taking one step after another going, research and those who have experienced this tell us that something phenomenal happens. They encounter what is called the 'SECOND WIND'. This is when the runner suddenly finds within himself the strength to press on, at the top of performance with less exertion (less energy, force, strength). The feeling is likened to having renewed energy, to be free, and like the runner is no longer running with his or her own strength. It is like being invaded with the strength of another to carry on the race.
Why am I writing about running and hitting and un-seemingly invisible wall and getting acquainted with something called 'second wind'?
The reason being, if this analogy is applied to our walk and work in God, it can help us in so many ways, and challenge us to keep going.
In most areas of our lives, I believe most of us would have experienced 'the wall'. This will be when we are convinced that under no circumstances, we cannot go on; go on with the same job, with the marriage, with the family fights, with the children, with the endless bills, exams or even waiting on God to manifest that promise.
Also, if we look closely or look back after having overcome, we realise that we encounter this wall when we were almost at the point of victory or breakthrough (even though we did not know it then). If we had given up, we won't have experienced the victory we can now testify to.
Now, because we serve a good God, who is our perfect shepherd, and who has given us the precious Holy Spirit, to guide and teach us, we are assured of victory and our 'second wind'.
The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that He does some of His best work when we are in this state of mind, when we are broken. If we let Him, for instance, He will remind us that our God is a God of hope and with Him (the Holy Spirit) in us, we should be overflowing with hope as declared in Romans 15:3, which reads "May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope."
The Holy Spirit will also reminds of us, if we let Him, of the word of David the Psalmist who encourages us to Cast our burdens unto the Lord, in Psalm 55:22. It reads "Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.He will not permit the godly to slip and fall".
When we say 'hello' to 'the wall' the Holy Spirit reminds us to hold fast onto our 'second wind' the one God has already provided for us. This is the opening verse of this post, Isaiah 40:31 and it reads “But those who trust the LORD will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired".
To be strong like an eagle means we have the abundance of :
- Strength: To carry on regardless.
- Keenness: Eagle Eye - to see the way God sees, through His wisdom
- Swiftness: To run faster and smarter than those in the world
- Courage: To take the next step, even though we feel we cannot.
- Freedom: To be all that we have been created to be
Like an eagle, when we fall, all we need to do is stretch out our wings and we will lift up again. When we feel like we are falling and think we cannot take another step, all we need to do is take hold of God's strength be lifted up.
This dear beloved is our 'second wind'. When we feel or think we cannot carry on, when we feel we cannot put one foot in front of another, God is calling us to embrace His strength. When we do, we will no longer be running in our own strength or wisdom, but God's.
So, what area in your life have you come face to face with 'the wall' ? What are you going through or dealing with that you are convinced you cannot possibly go on? What is that burden or yoke that is keeping you restrained and keeping you down?
Whatever it is, today, I encourage you to cast your burdens and cares on God, lay them down at the masters feet. I encourage you to "be still and let God". I encourage you to embrace your 'second wind', found in the God's presence, through His word and through a relationship with Him.
I encourage you to continue to run, not in yours, but God's strength, wisdom and power. Run towards your goal and price, whilst making God famous along the way.
Happy new month, and may God give you strength, wisdom, understanding and abundance peace, even in the eye of the storm.
Ps... Thank you everyone who checked up on me. I am well in Jesus name. The fool tried to mess with my health... He was messing with the wrong chick!
Much Love, Remi
Be Uplifted and Inspired
***pictures by google***