The sky was cloudy and I could hear the rumbling of thunder in the distance. I had just entered 4.5 miles into my running app, but everything in me wanted to head back inside. (Why did I agree to this 10K training again?!) I knew I would regret (and my body would later pay the price!) if I didn’t hit my miles for the day, so off I went. Turns out the thunder wasn’t so distant after all because five minutes into my run it began to rain. I had every reason to turn around and head home and no one would’ve faulted me. However, I sensed a small prompting from the Holy Spirit inviting me to finish what I had started, for He had something He wanted to teach me along the way. So I kept running.
As five more minutes passed, I actually found myself enjoying the rain. It became a source of refreshment to cool my body as I exerted more energy. What I originally deemed frustrating had actually turned into a blessing, and before I knew it, the rain subsided and a rainbow appeared! In that moment, I felt like the Lord had literally painted that rainbow in the sky just for me as a reminder of the reward of faithfulness and perseverance – not just in running, but in life. That rainbow was just the boost I needed to finish the rest of my miles.
After mile three, however, my right ankle started throbbing. Again, I had the thought of quitting and knew that no one would blame me. When I heard my app alert me that I only had 1.5 miles left to go, suddenly my desire to finish outweighed my pain to quit. So I kept running. I focused on the rainbow instead of the pain, and before I knew it, I heard “Congratulations! You just completed your goal of 4.5 miles….” I can’t explain how relieved and fulfilled I felt in that moment – not just physically, but spiritually.
In life, we can’t expect a rainbow without any rain, and in our faith journey with God, we can’t expect to experience the fullness of His promises without any pain. God’s heart is NEVER to hurt us but to GROW us – to REVIVE every single part of our body, soul, and spirit for HIS glory! Our pain is meant to point us to Christ and remind us of the promises He paid for with His life! HE is our reward, and we will never ever regret finishing what we start with Him.
So let the rain refresh you instead of discourage you. Rejoice in the rainbows and remember His promises. Feel the pain and keep running your race anyway. Because before you know it, you’ll be hearing, “Congratulations! Well done, my good and faithful servant….”
Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for areas of pain that have caused you to want to quit believing certain promises of God. As He reveals those areas, make the choice to turn that pain into praise, and verbally start speaking out truths about God’s goodness and faithfulness toward you throughout your life.
Follow this by singing your favorite worship song to Him and watch the atmosphere of your spirit shift from discouragement to refreshment!
Set aside twenty minutes today to take a walk (or a run!) either by yourself, with a friend, or as a family! Leave your phone and music/headphones at home and enjoy quality time with the Lord and/or your friend or family, taking in the nature around you! And if it’s raining, consider going anyway…you might just catch a rainbow!
Key Verses (NIV): Philippians 1:6, James 1:2-4, 12, Genesis 50:20