My suggestion of a bike ride somehow turned into a hard core trip to the beach. Pedaling 11 miles straight was not my idea of a leisurely afternoon, but my adventurous husband assured me the trail was flat and my limited riding skills would lead to the beautiful ocean views just fine.
Not just fine. This was a far cry from the occasional rides at the park along the lake with my daughters. I quickly determined this two-hour trip to the beach would be the last ride I’d ever agree to. Ever.
Roughly ten minutes into the bike ride, my legs started burning.
Twenty minutes into the bike ride, I vigorously shook my legs to get the blood circulating again and almost knocked the passing rider off the trail.
Thirty minutes into the bike ride, my pleas to turn around and drive our bikes to the beach fell on deaf ears and a smile stretched across my husband’s face. You can do it. Just eight more miles!
Forty minutes into my bike ride, I veered off the side of the trail, throwing my bike down as I jumped off. I laid my body across the asphalt and started giving myself a leg massage.
This was the worst bike ride ever and I wanted to go home.
I kept thinking, I just need to build my stamina for the 22 miles that lay ahead and then I’ll get through.
However, building up endurance takes time.
The same is true in our Christian walk. Paul likens our journey as Christians to a race. Whether we are strolling, walking, or running – we must keep moving forward in the marathon toward the goal of obtaining the prize.
Spiritual endurance to withstand heavy trials only comes when we have gone through various trials along the way.
God knows our temptation to quit, even as we are riding along flat trails, barely into the race.
We are reminded God sees the journey set before us. “For you have need of endurance…” Hebrews 10:36a
El Roi, God who sees, knows and understands our need to persevere and continue in the race. Along the trail, my husband kept reminding me we would arrive at the beautiful ocean soon. He reminded me, “Just a little longer. Just a few more miles. You can do it.”
God does the same when He reminds us to endure doing His will, “…so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:36b
I eventually made it to the beach, walking along the boardwalk and smelling the salty ocean air. I desperately tried to find a bus to take us back home, but again my husband reminded me, we can do it together.
God does not desire us to shrink back from the hard trials in our life no matter how hard the burning inside feels or how often we veer off the trail ready to quit. Our faith to persevere is the very thing that preserves and keeps us abiding in Him.
“But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39
No matter how often we are tempted to shy away from difficulties, trust God knows we need stamina to press on and listen to him cheering you on from the sidelines:
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward…For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But my righteous one shall live by faith…” Hebrews 10:35, 37-39
Faith is the very strength you need to ride with endurance. Keep pedaling!