What’s the Point of Long Runs?
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4
It was hard for me to understand why in the world coach would have me go on long runs. It was probably only 3 miles, but as a pole vaulter, this was my definition of a long run. I mean, in competition, I ran 105 feet, then rested for about 10 min between jumps. I didn’t need to run for 30 min. But over the years, I realized the importance of those runs. Coach wanted me to build up my endurance so I wouldn’t get so tired so quickly and I could compete longer.
When we really look at these verses, we see that James isn’t necessarily saying to find joy in the trials itself but in what the trial will produce. Trials may be hard and difficult, but they aren’t always bad. It’s during those trials we learn about ourselves, about others and about God.
Trials are a part of the Christian life – I get that. Trials mold us to be more of the person God created us to be – I get that. Trials may take some time – I hate that. Yes I want to be who God created me to be and I understand there will be fires to walk through to get there, but I just wish it wouldn’t take so long sometimes. But we need to let perseverance finish its work because its purpose is to make us mature and complete. When we rush it, we won’t fully be who God wants us to be. If we allow the trial to mold us, we can avoid unnecessary fires down the road.
Lord, thank you for the trials in my life – the ones I’ve been through and the ones I will encounter. Give me the strength to walk through the trials and equip me for the ones to come. Thank you for walking with me and never leaving my side.
What are some things you’ve learned through the trials in your life?
Think of a difficult time in your life (or multiple times). Thank God for that time. Thank Him for allowing you to experience that and thank Him for walking through it with you. If you are currently in a trial, open your heart to what God wants to show you during this time.
Buy a few sunglasses and for each pair, write a little note with a Bible verse. Keep them in your car or your bag. On a sunny day, maybe at a sporting event, if you see someone squinting because of the sun, bless them with the sunglasses and the note.