Marathoning for Mortals

Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the Lord...they will run and not grow weary.

The wind blows through my hair. I breathe deep, steady.  "Jesus Messiah" by Chris Tomlin sounds from my headphones.  I place one foot in front of the other over and again.  I run.

This scene is one that has played many days over the last ten years.  Running has become a passion and my favorite health enhancer and weight controller.  In my early days of running I set goals for myself.  I constantly pushed myself harder and farther in an effort to mark another achievement.

Over the years running has become my preferred time to worship and pray.  It has become less about me and more about Him.  In fact, one day recently it occurred to me that it never had been "my" run.  It was God's.  God supplied the energy to take every step.  God granted every ounce of air that filled my lungs.  My body was just the vehicle through which He worked.

This morning the passage I read is Matthew 17.  Here the Majesty of Christ stands in stark contrast with the limitations of His disciples.  In a single chapter we get a glimpse of the heavenly Son of God (Verses 1-11) and the inevitable failure when we attempt to live devoid of His power (Verses 15-21).

A father approaches Jesus desperate for his son to be healed.  Jesus' disciples had attempted to heal the boy but had failed.  Jesus explanation - they lacked faith.  I have seen God do the impossible in my life and the lives of others; the disciples had seen even more miraculous than I.  Perhaps their lack of faith wasn't the absence of trust in God but rather too much confidence in themselves.

Too often I too get caught in the I-trap.  I place far too much stock in myself, my ability or my plan when in reality it is God who is doing the work. Whether the task before me is long-distance run or a sprint, it is God who fuels the runner.  It is He who transforms a mere mortal into a spiritual marathoner.

Jesus, far too often I fall prey to faulty thinking that believes too much of me and not enough of You.  I think that You only come on the run of my life when I want when in reality - without You I couldn't run at all.  Today I will remember that every step is a gift of Your grace and every breath a present of Your mercy.  I will not lack faith because I will place my faith where it belongs - in You.


  1. I to enjoy running, and use it as a prayer time. I just feel like I'm taking care of the body God gave me. Being new to running it allows me to focus on Him getting me through it. I always find myself saying "God give me the strength to finish"

    Which should really be my prayer at all times. That He would give me strength and a heart even bigger for Him.

    Thank you Shannon, I enjoy your blog.

  2. Thanks, Megan. Always great to find another running friend. Even better that we both run with Jesus!

    Any other runners out there want to share what you think about while you run?


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