Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24
Being an endurance runner I truly understand this verse. There is a point at which your body at about an hour in, stops using glycogen (basically sugars) for energy and starts to burn fat. It causes your muscles to start to fatigue and you often slow your pace rapidly.This process happens so fast that unless you are ready for it, it is like "hitting a brick wall" literally.
Well, it is the same with our Faith. If you are not prepared to be pushed beyond your mental ability and down to your knees...even to the point you despair your own life, you get hit hard. It feels like God has forsaken you or you failed Him.
Neither of which are true.
At this point many drop out of the race. Most are too fatigued to go on...but those who push through are rewarded greatly.
After their body adjusts to a slower burning fuel, they find new energy.
After we come to the end of what we can do, the end of ourselves, on a daily basis we find new strength to go further than we have ever imagined.
It is to God's glory we are able to go on. We WILL NOT look pretty to the world, but to his people and to Him we are like a bride running to the arms of her Beloved.
So keep on in the race. Though the road be long and the way treacherous we run to be perfected as a Bride preparing for her wedding day. The stories we get along the way are what makes the journey. All along the way we get to touch people we could never have imagined had we have gone our separate ways.
Continue with endurance so at the end we can truly say with all our hearts:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.