The biggest goal in a marathon is to finish it. Of course, you’ll have overachievers who want to be first, but the heart and culture of a marathon is just to complete it. Sometimes, when you’re all-in, you get tired, hurt, or distracted. Runners usually prepare for worst-case scenarios, but what do we do when we are running the marathon of life and we get hit with the unexpected? Hurt by chaos, tired of ups and downs, distracted by everything, we feel like we’re letting our lives pass us. I would challenge us to consider two things when we are running for our lives but starting to feel tired or burned out:

First, how’s your weight? What are you carrying? Scripture tells us to cast aside every weight that so easily besets us, so distinguish the difference between the sins of your life and the weights of your life. When Job went through a series of tragic events, his friends only wanted to consider his sins. But nobody considered Job’s weight. Fast-forward to the revealing of the new testament, where we realize God considered our sin so much that He gave His only begotten son, so we could be in partnership with Him. What are some things you are carrying that may slow you down in the Christian journey?

The second thing I would encourage us to consider is patience. Sometimes we don’t endure because we don’t like to wait. I can prepare Minute Rice, and sometimes even that seems tough to endure. Imagine when we have to be patient with suffering, with the ups and downs, with results. God isn’t a genie. I don’t doubt that God is a healer or way maker, but I struggle with being patient and accepting that He does things on His time and not mine. And that’s when we will realize that God often sets up this marathon and obstacles in life because He wants something for us rather than something from us. So today, whatever you’re facing, if it’s good, bad, traumatic, or indifferent, God can use it for you. Push through and finish.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
— Hebrews 12:1