Distraction of Divas

“But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired. They walk and don’t lag behind.”—Isaiah 40:31 (MSG)

The day of the Diva Half Marathon had arrived. I was both nervous and excited. I had never participated in a competition like this before and was ready to take on the challenge. My daughter, an experienced runner, also participated in the race. We were both eager to tackle the course set in Virginia’s beautiful wine country. The route began on a dirt road that led down a hill surrounded by towering trees and then transitioned onto pavement.

The gun went off, I quickly realized I would not be able to keep up the pace of the crowd.. After five minutes, I urged my daughter to go ahead without me. Unfortunately, not long after she left, I stepped into a hole and twisted my knee. The pain radiated through my leg every time I tried to put weight on it. I had not even reached the three-mile mark yet, and I was already worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. I stopped at the first aid station to see if wrapping my knee would help, but it only provided minimal relief.

Despite this challenge, I was determined to complete the race, no matter how slow I had to go or how much pain I had to endure. I knew that this would be an actual test of my strength and focus. As the other runners began to pass me, I began praying and reciting scripture to keep me going. I repeated the verse from Isaiah, which promised that those who depend on the Lord will renew their strength . . . walk and not be weary, run, and not faint.

I also reminded myself that I could do everything through Christ, who strengthens me.

These words gave me the courage and endurance to keep going, even when the pain was overwhelming. As the miles stretched on, I walked by some of the runners who had passed me. I shared my favorite scripture verses with them, and their positive responses motivated me. I was amazed at how my words encouraged them as well.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the end was in sight. The trail was lined with people cheering us on. I felt a surge of energy as I crossed the finish line. I was given a pink boa, a medal, and some chocolate. My daughter gave me a big hug. However, as I tried to walk away, my knee gave out completely, and I could barely reach the car.

When I returned home, I needed crutches to walk, so I made an appointment with my doctor. After getting an MRI, I found out that I had torn my meniscus and would need to undergo treatment. In the years to follow, I would realize the actual damage to my body.

Looking back on that accomplishment and the obstacles I encountered, I gained more than a completion medal and a debilitating injury. I learned the importance of using memorized scripture to connect me with the strength of our Savior (Jesus Christ). There are times when each of us encounters unexpected difficulties. Having scripture in our hearts and minds is more than receiving a sticker or recognition. The real reward is in the power and hope we draw from these words and the hope they give us in times of trouble.

Do you have a verse or two that you recite to help you persevere in unexpected life challenges?

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord,Thank You for being our source of strength in our moments of weakness. Your power empowers us to overcome any obstacles we face. They may look like mountains to us, but nothing is too difficult for You! Help us to remember these Biblical truths and keep us moving forward. In Jesus’s Name, we pray. Amen.

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