"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." --Philippians 4:13
Watching Soul Surfer this weekend with the kids, I was amazed at how strong Bethany Hamilton was after her accident. So many people could have one small setback in life and choose to make it be the end of everything. She was about to be at the pinnacle of her career and it all came crashing down.
Thank God not everyone has the same type of setback that Bethany had. I don't know why bad things happen to people and I don't know why some people who seem so kind and good have terrible things happen to them when it seems like awful people skate by. I do know one thing, though: God takes our failures, setbacks, and disasters and uses them for His purposes. He doesn't take you around the "valley of the shadow of death" (Psalm 23). He takes you through it.
There are many times I allow little things to disturb me to the point where I am not looking to God for help. I look to my own knowledge. I look towards my intellect. I try to fix it myself. Why can't I just trust God's plans? " 'For I know the plans I have for you.' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.' " (Jeremiah 29:11)
Sometimes when I am running, I want to just stop. I just want to drop everything and walk away from all of this. I'd be less sweaty. Less sore. I wouldn't have days where I feel like I could puke. Then I am reminded of the apostle Paul. In 2 Timothy, Paul is under arrest again. He and so many Christians during the reign of Nero are severely persecuted. Yet in this, he says that he has "I have fought the fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Tim 4:7). I am only running a few races, yet Paul, under persecution, arrest, and eventually murder, keeps the faith, runs the race, and fights the fight. He did everything for the glory of God. Bethany Hamilton loses an arm, and continues preaching the word through her athletics. Tim Tebow almost wasn't with us, but uses every touchdown to praise the Lord. God had plans for all of them to work toward His glory. The simple things are acts of ministry to the fallen world.
What am I doing with my running? I can do it. I can run the race. Because "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." And I am certain He has a plan for it all.