Monday I did a strength training workout that kicked my butt. Yesterday I ran three miles.
I didn’t want to run those three miles. Every step I took was painful and hard. Normally that feeling passes once you “get warmed up.” But the muscle soreness from my workout the day before was worse than I thought and it never did pass. Sometimes I can be really stubborn. I dug in and ran the three miles and felt like a winner at the end, even though my time was awful.
While I was running, I thought of the similarities with real life.
Life can be painful, ya know? And the pains of life can come in all sorts of different packages.
From parenting woes, to infertility, to failing marriages, to addictions, to financial problems…..sometimes every step we take is painful. And sometimes, we haven’t even had a chance to get over the pain from yesterday before we get slammed with another challenge.
Many times we need to stop and rest. But other times? Other times we need to be stubborn and keep pressing through, one clumsy step after another. I think this is especially true when it comes to our marriages. Because in marriage, we’re either moving forward or we’re losing ground. And the enemy loves when we stand complacently. His best striking point is when we’ve decided to stop pushing and grow comfortable with our rest.
It’s hard sometimes, I know, to press in and keep fighting for our marriages. Sometimes we just want to stop running and take a break. Sometimes we may even want to get out completely. But when we stood at that alter and made that promise to our spouse and to God Himself, we committed to run this race through to the end. Through those hard, distant spaces. Through those disappointments and hurt feelings. Through loss and through hardships we never dreamed possible.
Running this race means that we keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when our hearts ache and our souls are weary. Running hard means that we fight against those empty spaces and cling hard to our spouse. Running hard means that we face our true enemy who would see our marriages left in shambles. Running hard means that we confront what’s wrong, and we keep confronting it over and over until it’s solved.
And the best part? We have the Life-Giver cheering us on, every step of the way. Even better, He’s not only there for motivational support. He would love to infuse us with His strength and His endurance if we only ask Him for it. He doesn’t leave us alone in our painful wilderness to find our way out. He has a specific path for us and a plan for our marriages. We just have to be willing to lay our pride down and ask for His help.
Because life can be painful. And the marathon of marriage is often filled with uphill climbs and sore hearts. But we have to be stubborn and keep running. At the end of the race, I’ll bet we can look back and see the beauty in it all, and feel like winners.
Dig deep and run hard, friend. I’m running right there with you.