Thursday – What’s Holding You Back?
By Katie LaBarr
I’ve been running (yes, without being chased) for nearly seven years. It all started with a group of new friends I met at FBC Palmetto. They had just returned from the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington D.C. In retrospect, I don’t know why I thought it wise to join a group of long-distance runners for morning jogs.
The second time we met, we ran five miles, without stopping. That was a first for me and I honestly thought I was going to die! Even still, I kept showing up. I started to enjoy the challenge of improving my form, focusing on my breathing, and getting faster. As the months passed, talk of running a marathon inevitably entered our morning chats. It took me a very long time to commit to running a marathon. I honestly didn’t think I had it in me.
I finally made the commitment. For nearly five months, Saturday mornings started long before dawn. I was in the company of the most amazing, Godly women I’ve ever met. I looked forward to each long run. I was excited to push myself a little more. I was even more excited to spend the hours in fellowship with these special women.
Through the training season, my faith grew a little bit more. I prayed more and worried less. On race day, we ran a good race and finished strong. The sense of accomplishment felt crossing the finish line is really hard to describe. The race was challenging, but the hard work happened long before race day. I lean on the experience during tough moments at home and at work. I recall the little joys we experienced during the journey and focus on the good that came from training and executing something I thought was impossible.
As the king’s cupbearer, Nehemiah risked his life by approaching King Artaxerxes. He didn’t just go for it upon hearing the news about Jerusalem. He was heartbroken for his people, not just because of their plight, but because he knew they were living outside of God’s will. He sought forgiveness and spent a lot of time in prayer ─ preparing his heart and mind for the moment he would approach the king. When the time was right, God protected him and made a way for him to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall.
There is so much we can learn from Nehemiah’s faithfulness to God, and God’s faithfulness to Nehemiah. Throughout the week, I encourage you to spend time in prayer, asking God what He is calling you to do. Maybe it is time to leave the sidelines. Seek God’s wisdom and guidance and trust His promptings.
Bible Reading Plan - Day 4