You Can Do Hard Things

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".

Philippians 4:13

When you study the life of the apostle Paul you read about an ordinary man who did extraordinary feats because of the power of God working in and through him. I'm sure there were times when Paul amazed himself at what God could do through his life. If I were a betting man, I'd bet that you can do more than you are currently doing now too in pretty much every area of life. About the only way any of us can do more than we are right now is if we had someone there to help us, to motivate us, to keep us accountable and to push us beyond what we think is possible and to cheer us on when we don’t think we can take another step. That's why God has given us His Spirit to live within us.

The Holy Spirit isn't just in this world to comfort us, loved one, He is here you might say as our personal trainer. Yet, unlike a good coach or personal trainer the Holy Spirit knows perfectly our strengths and our weaknesses and knows exactly how hard to push and when so as to maximize our performance in life. He is with us to give us the strength to run the race and not just finish it but to help us finish our race well. God is with us every step of the way and He is the first one at the finish line to greet us when we are done!

Below is a true story that goes to show you what we are capable of even when we might think we aren't prepared for whatever it is that we are about to face in this life. Read the true story of one amazing woman,

"At age 42, in beautiful downtown Cleveland, Georgene Johnson ran a marathon by accident (all 26 miles, 385 yards of it). She lined up with the wrong group at the starting line. Not the 10K group, where she belonged. But the 26 mile group, where she didn't. It wasn't until the four mile mark that she realized her mistake. So she just kept going, finishing the race in four hours and four minutes.

But it's what she said later (by way of explanation) that has stayed with me since. Said Georgene:

"This isn't the race I trained for. This isn't the race I entered. But, for better or worse, this is the race I'm in."

Talk about a humble perspective. She understood in her running a marathon what you and I would do well to grasp about life. The bible makes very clear though we might plan our lives out perfectly, yet none go exactly according to plan. God ordains the steps of our lives and He leads us into situations and circumstances that cause us to trust in Him and not rest in our own ability. God doesn't allow such circumstances to harm us but rather to shape us, to build our faith and to learn how to walk with God and to trust His plan.

Georgene learned that day how to go beyond herself and to keep going even when everything in her wanted to give up and quit. Is there anything you have given up on, loved one, something that you need to finish? Maybe a project that is waiting for you, maybe a relationship that has been neglected and is in desperate need of repairing. It seems in this life we often give up and quit way too soon. We give up on marriages, on people, on jobs, you name it, when life gets too hard for us we quit.

Let Georgene's testimony encourage you today like it does me, loved one. You can do a lot more than you are doing now if only you would draw your strength and courage from someone other than yourself. The apostle Paul figured it out as so many others have throughout time. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Don't quit, don't give up, keep going and like Georgene you too will discover you have what it takes to finish your race and finish well!

Georgene stayed in her race because she had people running along side pushing her, encouraging her and exhorting her to not quit, to keep going. She had someone to hand her a cup of water to refresh her and provide the energy to persevere. We have someone cheering us too, beloved of God, you and I have the Spirit of God living in us, and He is with us running along side us to help us run the race that is before us. Listen for His voice today, comforting you and challenging you at the same time, helping you run with endurance so that one day like the apostle Paul could say of his life, you and I can say of our lives too,

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing"

2 Timothy 4:7-8


Michael Osthimer





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