By Nicki Frodsham, Jubilee Church Wirral
Running the race with perseverance
For my 'big' birthday this year, my family got me some new trainers (to replace my daughter's cast-offs that I usually wear)and a step-tracker watch.
It seemed like my family were suggesting I needed to do some more exercise!
A friend said she had started the 'Couch to 5K' running programme and I have never been a runner, so I am not sure why I decided it may seem like a good challenge to tackle.
Dave and I started doing the running programme together and I don't think I would have kept going on my own. It has definitely been one of the hardest things I have ever done.
There were a couple of times during the nine-week programme where I had to miss a few runs. Then we picked it up again and continued and although I have not quite managed to do the whole of the 5K distance yet, I'm not far off and I'm determined to complete it.
It has reminded me of these verses in the Bible: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
I have been praying for some friends who have drifted away from their faith over the last 18 months. There have been many discouragements for people and the challenges have been huge.
While I know that God is faithful, it has been hard to persevere and to keep on praying. I have been really encouraged this week by hearing from one of these friends. This week God very clearly spoke to her and she has renewed her faith and trust in God.
It is a challenge to all of us to keep running the race, so pray for those who are not in the race with us, for those who are running in the wrong direction or those who have stopped. I urge you to continue to pray for friends and family to come back, to renew their faith, to join us and to run the race and finish well.
Or if you are struggling, I would like to encourage you to find a 'running partner'. We need our friends and our church community so that we can cheer each other on to keep going.
Paul says to Timothy, in 2 Timothy 4:7: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
Let us keep encouraging others to keep the faith, persevering to keep running the race and wanting to cross the finishing line, still strong in their faith, running with Jesus to the end.
Nicki with Dave