Having the discipline to run 26.2 miles is not easy and very few people have the staying power to see it through. So when a close friend of mine completed her first marathon, I knew I had to share her victory with you; especially after the amazing two part series from Pastor Toure Roberts on “Barriers to Breakthrough: Facing Your Giants” (see link at the end).
Jackie Crooks ran the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento, CA two weeks ago. It’s a 26.2 mile run from Folsom to Downtown Sacramento. CIM is a well known marathon because it’s a time qualifier for The Boston Marathon, so there were runners from all over the world there to compete.
This was something that she always wanted to do and 2016 was the year she slayed her giant. I can’t help but think of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” as I share her story. In fact, several of the runners had that scripture on their tee shirts to encourage themselves. Isn’t that what King David said we had to do…to encourage ourself in the Lord. There is no one else that can do it for you just as there was no one else that could run this race for Jackie.
We waited for Jackie at the 25 mile marker to encourage her on those final moments before she experienced her “primetime” moment. We made a big sign with her name and I even found a large cow bell to ring to encourage her across that finish line.
When we finally spotted her coming into the home stretch you could tell she was mentally and physically exhausted. Her spirits were strained and the journey was wearing on her body. She was in major pain as her knees had taken a beating running across the concrete and tar streets for 25 miles. But there we were, screaming at the top of our lungs, holding up the sign and ringing bells. When we spotted her we started running with her and her daughter ran the final 1.2 miles with her mom, side by side.
Isn’t that life. There are times when we feel like we can’t take another moment in the situation we’re in but we are so close to the finish line and don’t even know it. We met Jackie at the 25 mile marker, because lets be honest we were not about to run a marathon, but thank goodness you don’t have to depend on friends and family for your blessings. When you have faith in the most high God, He will run all 26.2 miles with you.
Look at that smile on her face now. Does that look like someone who, just minutes before, knees and legs were about to give out? Does that look like someone that felt mentally and physically exhausted at the 25 mile marker? Does that look like someone who was in major pain and wanted to throw in the towel?
No, that’s the face of a Believer, a winner, a giant slayer, an overcomer, a kingdom builder, someone enjoying their primetime moment because they pushed through to the finish line. But if Jackie had given up and not realized that you have more meantime than primetime she would have completely missed this moment. Just think, running 25 miles would have been a big accomplishment, she had never done that before, but it wasn’t 26.2 miles. Her blessing was waiting for her at the 26.2 mile finish line.
This is how our journey is with God. He told us that there would be challenges, pain, disappointments, set backs and test but He also told us to have faith for we are more than conquerors! That means when He created us, He created us as conquerors “FIRST”. He “FOREKNEW” when He created Jackie, that she would conquer this moment and her test of will, strength and endurance would be her testimony of victory. Look how God works! He created us as conquerors and then gives us the test…WOW; did you get that!
Today, Jackie is indeed a conqueror. You are conquerors too! Don’t look at the circumstance, start calling out the solution. Start calling out the reward and believing in its manifestation right here on Earth as it is in Heaven; for you and your family. Start envisioning yourself crossing that finish line! Get that winner’s mentality in your head. Use journals, read inspirational articles and books, read the Bible, use pictures, etc., to find that moment of winning the motivates you to victory. If you envision it you will accomplish it!
The Victory Dance
I’m not a football fan at all, please don’t let my husband and son know because they are both die hard San Francisco 49er fans. But one thing I love about football players is how much time they spend seeing themselves catching that ball and making a touch down…it’s really all they think about. They spend as much time practicing their dance moves as they do training and that’s the way it should be. They see themselves as victorious before the game begins. Look at them…every last one of them had dreams about that moment and what they were going to do in the moment of victory. Do you see yourself in victory or defeat? What’s your dance move? What are you speaking into your life?
Crossing the Finish Line
We were there to remind Jackie that the finish line was just around the corner and although she could not see it our presence let her know she was almost there. Just as Jackie was in pain and struggling to push through in that final mile it is that way with us as well. But if you look for God you will find Him, not at the 25 mile marker but at every mile marker that you’ve passed, He’s been there all along cheering you on. He’s been running side by side with you and you didn’t even know it. How do I know? Because you’re still here and that means there is a finish line up ahead waiting on you to conquer it!
Think back through your life and begin to call out the blessings (NOT the challenges or issues) at each mile marker and you will see Him. If you run pass the mile markers of life and don’t call out the blessings you will miss God and God wants you to see Him. He wants you to see Him moving and working in your life.
Go back through your life and look for Him, write those blessings down and celebrate them…it’s not to late. They build will, strength and endurance for the final mile. Tell God you’re sorry you’ve missed Him at all of those mile markers. Once you start this process you’ll be amazed by what you’ve missed. It will change your perspective and your life. It will save you and move you out of defeat into a stance of victory and overcoming. You will become a giant slayer and kingdom builder. I promise you, He’s been there all along with a big cow bell cheering you on. He wants you to run across that finish line. Have your victory dance ready! As Pastor TD Jakes says, “get ready, get ready, get ready, get ready, get ready!”
May Your Steps Fulfill Their Purpose
“Barriers to Breakthrough: Facing Your Giants” to http://maryestherruth.com/facing-your-giants/