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Strength for the Journey



Years ago, my husband ran in the Ocean State Marathon.   Talk about goals!  Even back then, I couldn't run up the street let alone 26.2 miles.  lol.  For me, it's something about the breathing.  There seems to be a real technique that I'm just unable to master.

Months prior to the marathon, my husband trained consistently and incrementally in order to train up his body and build up stamina to be able to last 26.2 miles.   In my husband's case, he worked up to 22 miles prior to race day in order to "feel the wall" at 20 miles, after which his training tapered down until the marathon. 

Training for a marathon takes a lot of time and dedication.  My husband said every milestone he reached during his training boosted his confidence.

The night before my husband was to run in the marathon, the sponsors hosted a pasta dinner where all the runners would have an opportunity to "carbo-load".

Carbo-loading is a means by which to fuel your body for the following day's run.

Benjamin Rappoport , a Harvard med student and marathon runner decided to study carbo loading after he "hit a wall" during a marathon.   His research was actually published in PLoS Computational Biology in October 2010 where he cited the following "Proper carbo-loading—or filling your muscles to the brim with glycogen—won't make you faster, but it will allow you to run your best and, if you race smartly, avoid the wall."

Carbo-loading also adds water to your system to the tune of 4 lbs!  And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know how important being hydrated would be to a marathon runner.

There is indeed a whole science behind training for marathons and my husband followed the protocol with a good result.  He finished in 4 hours and 13 minutes which is pretty good for a first time marathoner.

Since my children were small, I did not arrive at the marathon site until the race was over.  I remember pulling up into the parking lot and seeing a guy slumped over and being wrapped up in what looked like a large roll of aluminum foil!  My heart stopped for a moment, but it was not my husband.    Because of his diligence in training and carbo-loading the night before, he did very well and did not suffer from dehydration or any other serious injury.

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We can draw a Biblical lesson from the Prophet Elijah on the importance of "carbo-loading" for life's marathons...

The Prophet Elijah defended the Lord as the one true God by killing all of Baal's prophets.  As a result, Jezebel threatened to kill him.  Elijah became afraid and went on a day's journey into the wilderness...

 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”  And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.  And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.”  And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
1 Kings 19: 4-8


Where does the Believer's strength for the journey come from?  From the very Word of God!

Jesus shows us a practical example in the area of Spiritual warfare..

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”  
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’

 Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,

‘He will command His angels concerning You’;

and

‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, 
‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down 
and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall 
worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”  Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Matthew 4:1-11


When God's Word is hidden in our hearts, it strengthens us against the fiery darts of the devil.  For it is the Sword of the Spirit.

But the Word of God doesn't just equip us against Satan's schemes, it brings life, promises, encouragement, hope, teaching, conviction, delight, revival, wisdom, and most especially God's love.  Psalm 119 beautifully describes all of the benefits of the Word of God.  Take a moment to meditate upon them here.

My prayer, as we close out the first month of 2018, is not to go on this journey in our own strength.  The Lord's plan for His people has always been to be our Savior, not just at the moment of our conversion, but to be our Salvation every moment of every day.   There is nothing that the Lord has not provided for us through His Word, as you saw in Psalm 119.  Just like the marathoner carbo-loading the night before a big race, we must carbo-load on the Word of God every day so that we won't hit a wall when trials assail.

Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; 
The early rain also covers it with blessings. 
They go from strength to strength, 
Every one of them appears before God in Zion. 
Psalm 84:6-7


For life is the biggest race we will run.  Let us put in the time and dedication that our Lord deserves into training ourselves up in righteousness for His Glory.

When the end of our days come, may we say with the Apostle Paul...

I have fought the good fight, 
I have finished the race, 
I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries, Inspire Me MondayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Good Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog Hop  Tuesday Talk   Faith 'N Friends Sitting Among Friends   House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Literacy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceDance with Jesus Booknificent Thursdays  Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays , Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Sunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday God Sized Dreams Link-Up Sitting Among Friends Be Thee Inspired Call to Community

Comments

  1. I loved these words. I certainly did need to hear them this morning as I start my work week.

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    Replies
    1. Praising God that you heard what you needed to when you visited here.

      Blessings, :-)

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  2. The biggest part of carbo loading spiritually is remembering that God is with me - and that He includes practical things like good sleep and and some food by a stream. Great reminders.

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  3. I love the analogy of running and our Christian race (or walk, if you prefer). Baby Christians can't be expected to spend an hour a day in God's word--just like new runners can't run a marathon. Both take training!

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  4. Dear friend! Your words moved me to tears! "For life is the biggest race we will run. Let us put in the time and dedication that our Lord deserves into training ourselves up in righteousness for His Glory.

    When the end of our days come, may we say with the Apostle Paul...

    I have fought the good fight,
    I have finished the race,
    I have kept the faith.
    2 Timothy 4:7"
    The part that touched me most was when you said "the time and dedication that our Lord deserves". He has done SO much for us. He finished His race, and He was faithful to the very end. I want to return that kind of dedication and service to Him until my final breath. I loved reading about the carbo load...I have never heard of that. Your husband was very diligent and brave and did what was required, and he had what he needed to succeed. May God help us all to apply that to our spiritual lives. I always leave our visits so encouraged and inspired to draw closer to Jesus. You are such a dear blessing to me, and I love and appreciate you dearly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl! I so appreciate your comments here. They are so edifying and mean so much to me.

      Praising God that He is glorified through these posts, and that you are encouraged and inspired when you visit. All Glory to Him! :-)

      And you are to me dear friend. Sending you much love and gratitude.

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  5. Loved this - great analogy with the carb-loading.
    Found you through the Sitting Among Friends link-up.

    "The Lord's plan for His people has always been to be our Savior, not just at the moment of our conversion, but to be our Salvation every moment of every day." Yesssss!

    So happy to have found your blog. I look forward to reading more.

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    Replies
    1. Char, I'm glad you found me! Thank you for your kind words.

      And I'm so glad you found me. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

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  6. GREAT analogy! I want to be sure I'm carbo-loading on the Word of god daily, to avoid hitting a spiritual wall! I enjoyed this very much! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  7. Thanks for this perspective and the encouragement to run our race, fueled by the Word of God!
    Blessings to you.

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    Replies
    1. Marva, You are very welcome!

      Blessings to you too!

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  8. I love this analogy and the idea of carbo-loading on the Word! It's an image I won't soon forget. Pinning on my "posts worth reading" board. Blessings!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Donna, Praise God!

      Thank you so much! I appreciate it!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this good word at Booknificent Thursday at Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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