I am not a good long distance runner. Really, I am not a good runner. I have never had to run with endurance in a physical sense. Growing up, I was a gymnast, so I never had to run more than a couple laps around the mat to warm up before practice. If I ever have to run now, I give up way too early, even though I could probably go a little farther. I never allow myself to get past the bad of running to become a stronger runner.
As I think about spiritual running though, I feel like I have had to run with endurance most of my adult life. In this season of life, I feel like I am running with endurance more than ever before.
FOCUSING ON ENDURANCE
When I focus on endurance, I am reminded of the refinement that comes with endurance. It is much like fire that refines silver, taking out the impurities and strengthening the character of the silver. We need endurance to refine us when we go through our own fiery times.
I love how The Message states Romans 5:3-4,
There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Roman 5 shows us how to go through hard times and it starts with celebration. We should “shout our praise even when we are hemmed in with troubles.” You see, when we look for joy in the midst of suffering, it is easier to endure what we are experiencing. When the flame of endurance is fanned, our character is developed and seen.
A BETTER VERSION
There are days you’ll want to give up, but don’t! Allow yourself to endure. Allow yourself to persevere. Allow yourself to fully experience the trials and tribulations. Find reasons to rejoice, even while suffering. It is through all of this that one day you will experience a better version of you that resembles Christ.
Isn’t that a good thought? He is using all of this to make a better you and me.
Meet the Author!
Tammy Jensen is mother, wife and school administrator. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Education. She is the mom of three children over the age of 19 with one being multiple special needs and an adopted son. She has been married to her husband, John for 23 years. Her mission field is education as she gets to impact students lives through the love of Christ. Currently she serves as Dean of Students, Spirit Coordinator and Activities Director at Crossings Christian School.