Sometimes you just have to keep pushing through.
Next week I will be running my 10th marathon in my 10th state. My goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states by the time I am 50 years old. I call this my “50×50” goal.
If you have ever run a marathon, which is 26.2 miles, then you know first-hand that it is not an easy task. It is hard. And sometimes you just have to keep pushing through.
Similar to my “50×50” goal, for whatever reason, I have decided to push myself to run at least a 5k every day. As of today, I have been doing that now for nine hundred and twenty five days in a row. Now, a 5k is only 3.1 miles, so it is nowhere near the distance of a marathon, but it is still something that requires quite a bit of effort.
I do think that running every day has helped me to be more healthy, overall, but running every day for two and a half years straight has led me to run through sickness (including COVID-19), to run through all kinds of weather (including rain, snow, wind, heat, and everything in between), to run through injury (ranging from mild pain to pretty severe pain… when you run every day, you can pretty much count on *something* hurting every day), and to run through all kinds of terrain (I have run up in the mountains in the dead of winter and down by the ocean in the heat of summer).
Now, I am not sharing any of this to boast in myself or my goals. I am sharing it simply to say, sometimes you just have to keep pushing through.
In the letter to the Philippians, we see that the Apostle Paul had set a much higher goal for himself—one that we should also set for ourselves. He had fixed his eyes on Jesus, longing to glorify Him and to be like Him in every way.
Reflecting on how far he had come, and how he got there, this is what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi:
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:13–14, ESV
Look, I know that life can be hard. It’s hard for all of us. But we can’t lose hope and we can’t lose focus.
God is calling us forward. Towards Jesus. He is the prize our hearts are ultimately longing for.
For those of us who have put our faith in Christ alone for salvation, we have a race to run here on earth. Keep running it!
I can’t run my 50th marathon first. I can’t run my nine hundred and twenty fifth 5k in a row on day 1. I have to just keep pushing through to reach the goal.
And so do you.
But here is the good news: You CAN do it!
God has given you the strength to run your race, but He’s not going to do it for you.
He paid the price for your sin, so you don’t have to carry any of that around as you go. He defeated Satan, so no weapon formed against you shall keep you from moving forward. He rose from the grave to show that not even death can separate you from the love of God. And He sent His Holy Spirit to fill you with the power and strength you need to keep moving forward.
Friend, wherever you find yourself today on the journey, I plead with you: forget about what lies behind you. Strain forward to what lies ahead. Press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.