How to Keep Running

📅 May 17, 2020

For many people running is the quintessential sport. Their day is not complete unless they “go for a run” either in the pre-dawn hours or after a long workday.  

There are a number of quotations about running. Here’s one:

Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.

Here’s the dictionary definition:

Run—to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step both feet are off the ground.

The Bible uses “running” as a metaphor for the Christian life. One of the best known references is Hebrews 12:1— “run with patience the race that is set before us.”

How do we keep running with patience, win that argument with ourselves when we want to stop and then determine to keep going, even when our endurance is diminishing?

Consider these truths about two men—one from the Old Testament, one from the New—the Bible describes as “running.”

God Knows the Way You Take

Job 23: 10. But he knoweth the way that I take. When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

David

David was often “on the run.”

After King Saul found out David was to take his place as king, he pursued David relentlessly.

Yet even when David was running from Saul, he was running “in the right direction.” He was faultless and remained faultless despite Saul’s treatment of him.

But after David’s sin with Bathsheba, he found himself running in the wrong direction and eventually running away from Absalom, his own son.  

Because of all David’s difficulties and challenges, we have the beautiful Psalms we turn to again and again.

Psalm 18:29 [also II Samuel 22:30] For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God I have leaded over a wall.

God knew all along David would sin with Bathsheba, knew he would murder Uriah and yet made him king anyway. And He called him a “man after his own heart.” [I Samuel 13: 14]

God Knows the End from the Beginning

Acts 15:18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Peter

Peter, along with James and John, was one of Jesus’ inner circle. He was bold and a natural leader, ready and willing to fight anyone who tried to interfere with what Jesus was doing.

He was the most vocal of the disciples, arguing with Jesus about going to the cross, then vowing he would never deny Him, but then, when his faith counted most, he failed.

The Bible tells us he went out and wept bitterly.

On Resurrection day, when the women came to tell the disciples Jesus was not in the tomb [John 20:2-4]: “Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. So, they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter and came first to the sepulcher.

Peter lost faith in himself, but not faith in God. He might have been afraid to face the risen Messiah. But nonetheless, he ran to the sepulcher to find Him.

Later, Peter wrote:

I Peter 1:6-7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, thought now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Charles Spurgeon reminds us:

“Who was it that stood up at Pentecost and preached? Was it not Peter? Was he not always foremost in testifying to his Lord and Master? I do not want you to break a bone…but if you ever do, may the heavenly Surgeon so set it that it may become thicker and stronger than before.

“Courage was the bone in Peter which snapped, but when it was set, it became the strongest bone in his nature, and never broke again. When the Lord sets the bones of His people, they never break any more. The man who has sinned by shame becomes the bravest of the company.”

Consider this:

“I am not a runner because I run fast or far. I am a runner because I run.”

God knows the way you take. He knows the end from the beginning. Keep running.

2 Comments

  1. Joseph Kotvas

    Thank you so much for these thoughts. Spurgeon’s metaphor of the broken bone set by the great physician is a wonderful encouragement to us all.

    Reply
    • Holly Bebernitz

      Thank you, Joe. I cannot think of a Spurgeon quote I do not love.

      Reply

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Holly Bebernitz

Native Texan Holly Bebernitz moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1967. After thirty years of teaching speech, English, and history on the secondary and college levels, she retired from classroom teaching to become a full-time grandmother. The change in schedule allowed the time needed to complete the novel she had begun writing in 1998. When Trevorode the Defender was published in March 2013, the author realized the story of the Magnolia Arms was not yet complete.