“Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise.” – Joshua 10:9 NLT
This verse from the Book of Joshua is one on which I lean when I am going through a tough time. It is a reminder the realization of God’s glory is a two-way street. God delivers on His faithfulness, but only after we’ve moved to where He wants us to be so His glory can be realized. Only after we’ve marched all night long.
I have been training since December in preparation for the Gasparilla 5K on February 20. It will be the first 5K I’ve run in well over a decade, and I hope it is the starting point of a new running routine in this stage of my life.
The workout runs have left me tired and sore. Even though I have not been running every day, I am tired every day. This morning I woke up suddenly at 4:00 AM. I could feel how tired my body was, and I literally cried at the knowledge my alarm would be going off in 90 minutes, because the last thing I wanted to do was get up and run.
I prayed that God give me rest. It was that whole, “C’mon, God, you help me and I’ll obey you” kinda prayer. That’s not how faith works, but that was my mindset at that moment.
At 5:30, when my alarm went off, I felt – quite miraculously – amazing. I got up, got dressed, read my Bible plan for the day, and headed off to the gym.
Now, it’s been my experience that God speaks to me through the music to which I listen while running. Today was no exception. I was working hard to press through fatigue and the pain in my hips from carrying this extra weight around my midsection (i.e. beer gut). But there I was, on a treadmill facing East, watching the dawn give way to a beautiful sunrise. Just as the sun cleared the tree line, washing my face in His glorious light, the song The Shadow Proves The Sunshine by Switchfoot came on my playlist. No doubt it was God delivering His glory, rewarding me for my obedience, and giving me the strength to get through my run.
The burning in my thighs, the pain in my hips, the tightness in my tendons: all were reasons for me to end my workout early, something I’d done before on more than one occasion. But today, God gave me the push to keep going. To persevere. To march all night long.
When you feel you can’t go on, remember the shadow is proof of the sunshine, and God is always there wanting you to trust in Him, asking you to surrender that burden to Him. Lean in to the knowledge that He is faithful, and that we, too, must do our part to realize the joy He has in store for us.