What would have happened if Mother Theresa gave up helping abandoned little children because she felt powerless to help all the orphans in the world?
What would have happened if Paul gave up preaching because he was thrown into prison, beaten, and spoken against more times than he could count?
What would have happened if Martin Luther Jr. gave up because of the prejudice and hate he faced every day because he chose to stand up and fight for his rights?
What would have happened if Hannah gave up praying for a child because she couldn’t bear the ridicule of her husband’s other wife and the pain in her heart any longer?
What would have happened if Joseph gave up on every fulfilling his dream and stopped trusting God during his years in the dungeon?
What about if you give up when you are faced with yet another failure, another heartbreak, or another closed door?
God calls us to run the race of faith, but just like any race, it’s not an easy one.
It includes valleys and hills.
Trenches and storms.
Heartache and tears.
There is a finish line waiting for us at the end, a prize that we are running to win, a crown to place on our head… but there’s one struggle that each one of us will face during different seasons, trials, and obstacles that come our way: will we give up or will we keep on running?
There’s a marathon that takes place in Boston every year and part of running the marathon includes running through a section that’s called “heartbreak hill”.
It’s the largest hill that runners must pass.
Every runner knows that this is the hill that determines whether or not they make it across to the finish line.
They reach this hill when they are already tired, when their strength is slowly slipping away, and their mind has long been telling them to stop.
This stretch in the marathon is called “heartbreak hill” because once faced with it many people stop dead in their tracks.
They forget the victory that is waiting for them at the end.
They give in to their tireless defeating thoughts.
And they choose to stop.
Just like so many of us do when we face our own “heartbreak hills”, not in a marathon, but in life.
We’re running the good race, we’re praying, we’re pursuing our dreams, we’re fighting for what’s right, we’re giving our all… until we hit a wall.
Until we hear the bad news.
Until we face another defeat.
Until we are thrown into an unexpected tragedy.
Until we find ourselves walking alone.
And we don’t know if we can keep going anymore.
And if it’s worth it to make it to the finish line.
Heartbreak hill is different for everyone.
Maybe someone you love breaks your heart.
Maybe the job you’ve been dreaming of slips out of your hands.
Maybe you’ve been praying for healing and when you’re back in the doctor’s office for a checkup the news is bad, again.
Maybe you’ve been in a tragic accident and your life will never be the same again.
Maybe you’ve tried and tried and you have failed, for the hundredth time.
And you find yourself wondering if you can get back up.
There are so many people in God’s Word and in life that have faced their own heartbreak hills.
Joseph being tossed in a dungeon cell when he should have been living out his dream.
Hannah going to the temple over and over again with no answers to hear heart’s pleas.
Paul being shipwrecked, tortured, and imprisoned for his years of sharing the gospel.
And each one of them decided to keep the faith, even in the darkness.
To keep running even when their legs felt like buckling in.
To keep on trusting God when He seemed far away and the finish line was nowhere to be seen.
And because they endured they made it to the other side with victory.
With a testimony to share.
With a legacy to follow.
And I wish and pray and hope that this will be the same for me, and for you.
I can’t even count how many times I wanted to give up on jobs, on ministry, on relationships, on blogging, and on my future.
I can’t even remember how many nights I stayed up in tears worrying about what my future would bring.
I don’t know how often in the depths of despair I would get on my knees and say “God, I can’t do this anymore. This is just too much for me to handle. Maybe it’s just not for me.”
And I don’t know how many times He helped me get back on my feet and keep on taking those slow steps again.
How many times He dried my tears and said “Anna, this is just one more hill for you to cross, and just like all the others that came before, with my help you will make it out okay.”
How many times He brought me back to the foot of the cross and reminded me that there was a purpose for the blood He shed for me.
How many times He walked every single step with me until I reached the other side.
There has never been a heartbreak hill I couldn’t run, not because of my own attitude and strength, but because of the God who resides in me.
The same God that resided in Joseph, in Paul, and in Hannah.
And the same God that resides in you.
I don’t know about you but I always want to make it to the other side.
To the other side of my desert like Moses did.
To the other side of my prison like Joseph did.
To the other side of my tearful nights like Hannah did.
Because on the other side is my miracle, my answered prayer, my dream, and my Promised Land.
I want to make it to the finish line so that I can say “maybe I stumbled, and maybe I fell. Maybe I doubted and maybe I failed. Maybe I worried instead of prayed. But I got back up again and kept on running.”
I didn’t allow my circumstances to determine my fate.
I didn’t allow my hardships to destroy my faith.
I didn’t allow my heartbreak hill to stop me from getting where I need to be.
Today I want to encourage each one of you to keep on running no matter what your circumstances say and how the future looks.
Keep turning to God’s Word for encouragement and strength.
Keep getting up every time you fall.
Keep fighting the good fight.
Keep running the race.
Keep staying strong in faith.
Because with God’s help you have the power to make it to the other side where your reward, your dream, and your promise awaits.
Be blessed and never stop worshiping Christ!-Anna…♥
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” -2 Timothy 4:7