Tuesday, July 7, 2009



For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” [2 Cor. 4:17]

If you’re like me, you don’t have the flattest terrain on which to run. If you do run on level ground I can assure you there are many of us who are at least a little envious. Without hills the running is so much easier; so much more predictable. And while there is a downhill for every uphill, it has been proven scientifically and experientially that the down-side of the hill never gives back all that the up-side took.

The same can be said of the wind. The difference the wind makes when it is blowing into you is nothing less than amazing…and disheartening! It slows you. It strains you. It actually discourages you. And so often it seems that the wind is in my face the entire run regardless of the direction I am running. It is so much easier to have it at your back. And when the two are combined, running uphill and into the wind, the run can be very tough.

But here’s the part of the story that’s so easy to miss in all the huffing, puffing, and sweating: running uphill makes you a better runner and better prepares you for the next hill! There will be hills on the course. At the 7th mile of my first half-marathon there was a 1¼ mile stretch that was a 7% grade uphill. While competitors were dropping like flies I never missed a step. The reason was simple: I was accustomed to running hills!

It would be nice if life was always downhill and with the wind at our back, but we know that simply isn’t possible. There will be hills and strong headwinds and, at times, it will seem that the universe is conspiring to combine the two simply for the purpose of making our run tough. But it is during those times that we are actually being made stronger.

Occasionally we have to deal with setbacks and disappointments in the course of life. Health issues, family troubles, job concerns, and the like are the uphills of life and none of us wish for them, but God tells us that they are actually making us stronger (2 Cor. 4:17). He also says that they are temporary (2 Cor. 4:18) and that we can look forward to one day coasting on the downhill. So remember, when the going is tough just keep running, taking comfort in the fact that you’re becoming stronger and that the tough times won’t last!

Gotta run!