The Challenge

June 23, 2007
by Judith Welch

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)

Each spring, the gym where I exercise sponsors a fitness challenge called "The Ironman". It is open to all adult members regardless of age or gender. With the encouragement of several of my instructors (though I am a senior citizen), I agreed to participate. To complete the challenge, all three parts of the triathlon had to be finished in two weeks' time. The physical demands of this challenge go well beyond what I thought I could possibly achieve.

After the first day, I realized that the love and encouragement of friends and mentors wasn't enough. Those 112 miles of biking, 26.5 miles of walking or jogging, and 2.5 miles of swimming loomed large ahead and were seemingly an insurmountable task.

On the second day of the challenge, I began making Philippians 4:13 a part of my early morning prayers. By the sixth day, I was repeating Philippians 4:13 over and over in my mind while I biked, walked, and swam. Soon I began seeing what had been accomplished instead of what lay ahead. On the twelfth day I completed the required number of miles in all three categories.

During those twelve days, I learned a great deal about myself. I gained a new respect for those who labour physically every day, and I learned gratitude for those who give of their time to encourage others. However, the most important lesson I learned was that when the Spirit of Jesus Christ fills our hearts and our minds, we can keep on keeping on accomplishing things well beyond what we think is possible. What a blessing it is to know the love of our Saviour in this intimate way.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for Your Son, Jesus the Christ, Who strengthens us each day as we face difficult challenges in our lives. Thank You, as well, for sending friends and mentors to love and encourage us. In Jesus' holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Judith Welch <judithwelch12@gmail.com>
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

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