The roar of the crowd faded into the background and all I could hear was the echo of my heavy panting and the striking of my weary feet on the track. More exhausted than I’ve ever been in my entire life, it was there I started a debate with God.
I cannot take another step Lord, I really can’t. I’m going to collapse right here on this very track…
I pressed on; the bell rang. One lap down, one to go.
Lord I’m running faster than I ever have, I can’t keep this pace, I’m gonna start to fade out…
There was no audible answer, but his presence was tangible.
Lord, just give me strength…give me strength…
I’ll never forget that day, because running the 800 meter dash at the state track meet was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my entire life. I was worn, body beat from intense training, attempting a pace faster than ever imagined, and struggling to keep up with my remarkable competitors. In my mind, there was no way I was finishing.
On just about a daily basis in my every day life this feeling seems to overwhelm me as well. I look at the tasks before me and lose hope. “Lord…how can I do this all? Please just give me a break; I’m so tired, I’m so worn…”
It is then I can picture my father, a gentle smile on his face shaking his head: “Oh my precious daughter, have you not remembered my promises? I will fight for you, you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
The fact of the matter is we’re humans, and we do become completely drained. We feel our strength failing, and we start to pity our weary selves. We beg the Lord to lighten our load, beg him–as I have many many times–to just give us a break somewhere.
Reality is, when we imagine our tiny human selves struggling to bear these massive loads, we forget to picture our heavenly father dwelling above us holding the load ever so lightly in his strong arms. He’s calling us: “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
How amazing is it that God takes our load on his shoulders, that we may take his light yoke upon us and find rest? If you’re struggling today, my prayer for you is that you ask the Lord to carry you. Whisper a simple prayer to him; ask for him to sustain you. He will bless you with strength, he will take the load on him, and your weary soul will find rest.
God desires to bless us with strength (Zechariah 10:12), so run to him. There has never been a time he has ever let me fall, and he never will. Even when I thought there was no way I’d make it…here I am today, pushing on.
And for the record…I finished the race. And in fact, I finished stronger than I started: passing a few girls on the last stretch and setting a new personal record. And honestly, I couldn’t have done it without the Lord on my side.
I tell you today to never underestimate the power of the Lord. He is omnipotent, and he gives strength to his people. Just when you think you’re not going to make it, he will give you the strength to persevere…and then some.
Carry on, friends.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will NOT be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6