I had finished sharing with a friend my experience with a scripture I had seen on my path during a marathon when I clicked on a link. I seldom do because I lack the interest for video clips and I fear spam and computer viruses. The video was about the effort and dedication of a father with a severely disabled son. On the last image of the clip the word CAN flashed followed by I can do all things through Him who strengths me.
There it was again and here is my marathon story.
It was the Steamtown Marathon 2012. I felt ready and confident. At mile four I ran with a woman exchanging our running anecdotes and goals, hers to finish, mine to feel good. Right before we parted, I mentioned fearing the feeling of the last miles when the body is tired. She replied "I repeat my favorite scripture 'I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me". I smiled and said "It is my favorite, too. I repeat it each time I am at the doctor". I stopped to get water and she continued on.
It was mile 8. One of the popular spectator spots. A crowd of people surrounded that mile. Among all the signs an older woman held one that caught my eye, "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me". I pointed at her and said "was just talking about it, thank you". I ran on. Unexpected cramps started bothering very early. It was mile 12 when I felt the first tingling. At mile 14 they were more noticeable and I started feeling distressed. A man in front of me wore a T-shirt I had not seen before "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me".
As the cramps increased, I desperately hoped that the persistent appearance of the same scripture on my path meant the cramps would subside. They didn’t.
The cramps got the best of me. It was a painful last 8 miles.
I managed to finish and with a medal in my hand I reflected on that text: “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me". The marathon had tested me physically and I had dug deep to finish. The message was a reminder that the road is not always easy, and often adversity attempts to break even the most carefully planned performances and the body and the spirit may falter, but we can never give up.
We can do all things when we believe.