People who train for their first half marathon ever say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever put their bodies through.
Most people who run that length aren’t elite runners or fitness instructors. Running 13.1 miles doesn’t have to be on people’s bucket list, but it is. In fact, most often, a few weeks away from the race, sometimes it gets too hard.
Some days, they’re not sure they’re capable of it, and they want to quit. We do this in life too. If something is too hard, our first reaction is to quit, and we want God to be a motivational speaker so we can feel inspired, but really, God calls us to do hard things for Him.
He never says it’s easy, so how do we keep from quitting?
Here are 5 things to remember when life seems unbearable…
1. You’re Not Alone
You’re not the only one struggling with faith and thinking that everyone around you has it together and you’re still such a doubter.
Godly men and women have said over time that isn’t true. We all have days when life feels stronger than our faith and when we want to give up, and we forget that.
There are Christian men and women who are depressed and scared and don’t want to get up in the morning, so it’s OK if you don’t feel faithful. It’s OK if you don’t feel like the perfect Christian. You’re not the only one.
God loves community, and he loves that community offers us a chance to lift each other up and support each other.
2. Stay in the Word
When things get tough, one of the hardest things to do is to find hope and strength in God’s word.
It’s so tough to open your bible and your journal. We tend to skip those things because we don’t “feel” like it, and it’s a huge mistake.
If you’re treading through tough waters, stay grounded in God’s word and his promises. It’s not just full of hopeful verses you can stick in my pocket or on your mirror.
It’s filled with stories of his grace and his strength winning through faithless people. When we choose to study those truths, we find the nourishment, the guidance and the hope we need.
3. Don’t be afraid
We have grand plans for my life. We write them down and make checklists and set deadlines so we can get there, but a lot of the time, life gets in the way and knocks us off our planned course.
God is OK with that because it wasn’t his plan to begin with. When we’re going through a difficult time, leaning on God’s plan is how we stand taller.
We have to know that we’re not capable of doing some things on our own, and all things work in his timing and for his good— even if we can’t see the end result.
God doesn’t promise that his plan is easy, but it’s beautiful, and that’s what we find hope in. Trust in that beautiful, chaotic plan and know that it’s meant for God to be
4. Take it one step at a time
When those half marathon runners first start running, they couldn’t run 3 miles without stopping.
Eventually, they make it to 10 and 11 miles, but it’s difficult to find the motivation to go another mile, and some days, I bet they want to quit. Go another mile when it hurts. That’s how you get stronger.
When you climb out of the tough time, you’ll be stronger and you’ll look back on that moment and see how it shaped you.
Don’t give up because the pain tells you to quit and tells you that it’s easier if you fall. God promises perseverance to those who run for him and those that don’t quit when it’s hard.
5. Pour out your heart
Every inch tells us to quit and to take the easier route, but prayer compels us to keep going. Prayer gives us a chance to talk to God and hear him push us onward.