After months of consuming too much food, growing horizontally and avoiding a sports bra, I finally laced up my athletic shoes and went for a run. It wasn’t pretty but I know it’s what makes me healthy! My lungs burned, my heart felt like it might explode and most people could have walked faster than my uphill pace. I felt like I was in a slow-motion video, but in reality, I was going as fast as my body would let me.

Last year, I could run an 8-minute mile with little effort, plus I completed a half marathon and a 12-mile Tough Mudder. Now I can barely run a 12-minute mile without feeling like I might die. It’s amazing how quickly we can lose our physical fitness, but it’s also amazing how hard it is to start at the beginning again – gaining flexibility, stamina, speed and greater lung capacity.

As I pushed through the pain of my short 1.7-mile run, I couldn’t help but relate this to God. Many of us go through seasons of consistently attending church, reading our Bibles, praying and growing in our faith. During these times we are often filled with strength, joy and watch our lives transform through the power of God. Then life gets busy…Our schedules change…We fall out of our routines…We start to grow weary… And we find ourselves right back where we started – feeling lonely, stressed, tired, bitter, depressed, even hopeless.

Starting over hurts! Sometimes we allow so many painful things to weigh us down without giving them to the Lord. It’s like we’re trying to run a marathon after gaining a hundred pounds and developing asthma. Yes, it hurts but we don’t have to run a half marathon at an 8-minute mile pace to hang with God. We just have to lace up our shoes and go out for a run with Him. God is patient and sets the perfect pace.

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. NIV

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. NIV

Matt 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. NIV