Is it Really Worth it?

When the Pain Makes you Question and Doubt your Decisions

Since I first started running, never have I dealt with so many different issues till the day I agreed with God that I wanted to be a running coach.  Then, BANG!  Tight Hips, IT band problems, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and tendonosis, imbalance in muscles causing discomfort, weak muscles, stress, post race depression, decline in fitness, races being cancelled… not all at once, but it was as if God said, “Okay, you’ll need to learn a few things before we go forward with this.”  Had he told me ahead of time that I was going to suffer this much, I would have taken a lot longer in making this decision, possibly ending with the decision to not even become a running coach at all.  I catch myself thinking, “Is it really worth it?”

In our Christian life, a lot of times God will pull us in a certain direction and when we decide to follow Him, it causes a lot of pain and discomfort.  Even the choice of becoming a Christian in the first place is followed by difficulties and struggles.  We can often catch ourselves thinking “Is it really worth it?” whether consciously or subconsciously.

When we ask ourselves this question we come to a fork in the road.  It’s either the route of joy amongst the pain, or the path of bitterness through the discomfort. 

Jesus promises in Matthew chapter eleven that His yoke is easy and his burden is light.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

When I first started running, I ran alone.  In the following years God encouraged me to run “with” Him, and that was one of the best things I ever did!  But as of late, God wanted to step it up a notch and encouraged me to be a vessel willing to suffer for Christ’s sake; now He wants to run “through” me!  This is amazing and feels so much more effortless than running “with” Him, even though the difficulty of the runs have magnified.

This new practice has given me a new look at the phrase, “Is it worth it?” because now it is not me doing the work, the running, or the focusing, but Christ in me.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20

Honestly I still can’t wrap my mind around how this works.  God’s ways are far beyond my limited understanding.  It’s like one of those questions you get from someone that you can’t explain, you just know it’s right. 

So is it worth it?  Unbeknownst to you, some people are looking at your life and wondered, “How do you know God is real?  You’re life is no different from mine, you have just as many if not more problems than I do.”  The reply, which would be given with you actions, could simply be that you walk and talk with Him every day, you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and He has proven Himself over and over in your life and those around you.  It doesn’t have to be a complicated answer.  People want to “see” God and He chooses to make Himself known through us.

Are you willing to be a vessel for God?  Are you willing to step out into the unknown and be full of Christ?  Your answer to the Christian life will undoubtedly become, “Yes! It is worth it!” And people will see it, because what is on the inside is seen on the outside.

Until Next Time,

Happy Running Ya’ll!  Hope you have a great week!

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