by: Delana H. Stewart
Last week, my third-grade daughter joined my husband and me on the nature trail for our morning run. She has a lot of energy, and I have seen how she chases the boys. Her strength, however, is in sprinting. She can run really fast for a short distance. On the trail, we run and walk a distance of 2.4 miles. I knew from past experience that I needed to rein my daughter in so that she could make the full distance with us. Her desire is to start off by showing us that she can whup us good by sprinting out ahead of us, and then I have to drag her the rest of the way.
This particular day, I convinced her to jog slowly beside me. She found she could go the distance even though it was still challenging for her. She appreciated all the other runners on the trail giving her thumbs up and atta-girls.
This morning while reading the study workbook When Life is Hard by James MacDonald, I came across this quote:
“We can wish all we want for a sprint to maturity; but eventually, we have to accept that God designed life as a marathon and that every step is worth running.”
I know that there have certainly been some steps in my life that I wish I did not have to run. And other steps that I wish I could have sprinted through much more quickly. During a trial, I would certainly not be able to say that every step is worth running. Oftentimes, though, when the trial has passed, I can see the purpose and the benefit of even some of the most difficult or terrible steps. I think there are some steps in life’s marathon that we may always wonder why we had to take those steps and whether or not those steps were worth running. In those times and circumstances, we must lean in to the Lord more, trusting that one day He will help us understand.
During the last part of most runs with my daughter we hold hands, and I tell her encouraging things to help her make it through. Last time, as we neared the end, she grabbed my hand and said: “Come on Mama, we are almost there, you can make it!” I just had to smile.
I know that the Lord has sent people my way in life’s marathon to help me through difficult times and to say: