He tells us everything over and over—one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there! Isaiah 28:10
Christian Caine continues in her book Run to Win about how runners have to start slowly and build gradually. When I began to learn to run, I had to start out slowly because of having heart issues with my heart failure. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to like running, I just knew if I did it I would be able to achieve the weight loss I desired much faster than if I only walked. It took me a full month of running every day except Sunday’s. When I finally achieved a straight 30-minute run, it was the most amazing feeling. The point Christine is making is that it takes time to work out God’s will in our lives. God is a God of endurance, He wants us to build character and skills and strength as we go through our race.
Nothing builds character than patience. Nothing is as important in the character of God as His patience. He is so patient with us. I was reminded of that very fact this morning in church as listened to another great speaker Pricilla Shire. She said through longsuffering and patience that God brought us to the decision to follow Him and the Holy Spirit is working out our salvation. Every time we mess up God is still there loving us. Patience is so important, but something we all lack in our lives, at least I can say I lack it. I want stuff to happen now, I want that blessing now, I want to get that thing going now. As I have said in prior blogs, the process by which we get to the blessing is a blessing all in itself. If I didn’t push myself when I started the 30 day running program and suffered through the hard runs, I would never have become a long distance runner. This taught me patience in other things in my life, like my relationship with my wife, friends and coworkers. Patience makes us better life-givers and is one of the 14 rules of a life-giver found in 1 Corinthians 13.
Skills are another area where God wants to build us up. It’s interesting that I was not interested in writing very much over last few years until a very good friend of mine encouraged me to do more of it. In addition, I was trying to find an author to write my story for a book, but they would never work out. Finally, someone said to me, why don’t you write your own story because no one can tell it like you. That was the best advice anyone ever gave me and so I began the long task of writing that book and then eventually getting this blog going. I have found that I love this moment of expressing myself twice a week in this medium. Over the last couple of years, God has been developing my writing skills and has encouraged me by all my awesome blog followers out there that read this every week when they can.
Strength is built when we slowly build our character and slowly learn skills to help us get to the final goal of what God wants us to do, the purpose. Strength for the purpose is the most important element because it is what gives us endurance to the goal. Without strength, we could be run over by circumstances if we get to the goal too early. A good example is when you are learning to run, people want to be able to run the long run right off the bat. They try to achieve it and find that it’s too much for them and they quit. They don’t understand you have to build your character, which is be patient, you have to build your skill, running is not easy and you have to build your strength. If you go too fast too far too soon, you become overwhelmed and then failure and giving up is knocking at your door. When we finally achieve all these things we are at the purpose and the finish line, but the race is not over yet. We will have another goal to achieve, another purpose within the purpose for to strive. The Christian life is the most awesome adventure ever to embark on and one that is full of times of excitement and times of waiting on God. Be patient, build your skill, and get your strength for the purpose.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.