Monday, March 8, 2010

Doing Hard Things

Sometimes life requires us to do hard things. I was thinking of this the other day after I finished a pretty tough, long run.  I’m in training for a half marathon in May and training requires me to do things I don’t always want to do.  All those regular runs, days with my only free time focused on cross training, days spent watching what I fuel my body with-avoiding certain amounts of junk in favor of the healthier things.  But it’s all for a purpose, for that one day when I put my toe on the line (so to speak, I won’t be up front at the start-that’s where the elite guys go) and give it my all, my best.

I think life is like that sometimes.  After this really hard run, a run that I literally had to psyche myself up for, a run I did not want to even begin, I realized that all I needed to do was take one step.  And every single step I took made the next one a little bit easier. 
There are many hard things to be done in life; hard things in our relationships, hard things (like discipline) in our parenting, hard decisions to be made concerning our finances or careers.  Sometimes life puts some hard things before us, sometimes God asks us to do things that will be very tough.  I was encouraged this weekend, as I reflected over the run that I dreaded that ended up not being so bad after all, that when we’re asked to do hard things in life often all we have to do to get going is take that first step.  Once that first step is behind us we find that God will give us grace and strength to take the next step, and the one after that.
I know that not one of us likes to do hard things, it’s so much easier to maintain the status quo.  But I wonder where the joy of victory comes if there’s never a point of  decision that we are going to do what God has set before us, not because it’s easy or simple but because it’s hard and difficult.  Because we know that in the hard things we get closer to God, in the hard things we see his character revealed and in the hard things his strength sustains us. 
What’s before you today?  Is it something hard or unbearably difficult?  Be encouraged-rely on God to give you the strength and gumption you need.  He’ll do it, all you need to do is ask and then take off-one step at a time.


  1. I like the Biblical concept of taking one day, one circumstance at a time and letting the Lord provide what I need to get through it. Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

  2. i lost my grandmother on saturday and am coping with the loss -- i know that she is in heaven now and i am happy i have my faith in Him to help me through this.

  3. Great stuff Gina. I struggle with doing the "hard stuff" more than I'd care to admit. I know that my life isn't supposed to be all sunshine and roses, but I still want that sometimes. Thanks for the reminder that working towards the goal makes the prize all the more rewarding.

  4. There are a lot of life lessons that are reinforced through running. The first step that you talk about is one of them. Another is that we are capable of more than we think we are. Loved this post!


    P.S. I'm running my first half marathon this June! :)

  5. Good encouragement, Gina. There are no shortcuts when it comes to growing to maturity. Hard things are part of the process. My challenge is to remember up front to focus on God's provision and promises more than on the hard thing itself. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I just ran my first half marathon in October. It was the most amazing experience of my life! And I certainly believe that my Heavenly Father was there to help me train and finish this huge goal of mine. Good luck. There's nothing in the world like crossing that finish line!

  7. I couldn't agree more - in running and in life. Once you take that first step, it's like, oh, that wasn't so bad after all. The reward is always greater than what it seems like it will be and the feeling, the peace, of accomplishment can't be beat.

  8. What a thoughtful post. I'm training for a half marathon in July. I find that the first step out the door is the hardest part of training. As I take my long runs, I often pray that God will make the hurt stop or the run easier instead of really being in the zone and appreciating each step.

  9. I love this metaphor! I'm also training for my first 1/2 marathon- it's next Saturday! It really is amazing the parallels you can make between running and the spiritual walk- especially when it comes to the "just do it" aspect. There are so many things that I can spend so much time worrying about, but it's amazing how much better I feel when I just take that first step.

    On another totally different note- Survivor and the Office are two of my favorites, too! I'm totally pulling for Boston Rob. :)

  10. So crazy- I'm tossing around whether or not I want to finish writing my 'Doing Hard things' post I started a few minutes ago. My little brother died 5 months ago, and the last thing we really got to do together, outside of a hospital room, was go to a Tenth Avenue North concert. The concert is one of my hardest memories. Tonight- they play near me again, and I'm going... just another step in the grieving process for me, I think.
    Thanks for writing this though, the push I needed today. doing the hard thing today IS the right thing...

  11. Thanks for writing this. It was just what I needed today. I have a newborn at home and I had a rough day.


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