of Stoney Noell, Owner and Creative Director of Epic Life Creative, A Graphic Design Company

Running With Endurance

Breakthrough, in its definition, is described as a significant and dramatic overcoming of a perceived obstacle, allowing the completion of a process. Breakthrough is not, as I once believed, the end of a process. It is more accurately, as described above, a passage way, a thoroughfare, a hall way towards the completion desired. More often than we’ve realized the resistance increases just before the breakthrough. We feel it, we sense it, we have cried in it’s presence, and so many times without the realization that this resistance is not an immovable blockage, but more so, it is a “sign” pointing to the breakthrough just ahead. As we hit up against resistance we can be sure breakthrough is near.

In a resent “mile marker” of physical achievement, my first half marathon, the Lord has revealed many parallels. I share these with you believing, as seen in Eleazars life, that my personal triumphs can benefit all those who surround my life.

THE GOAL & BETRAYAL OF ASSUMPTION: early on this year, I felt the Lord had given me a firm word over the year, in particular the start of it. “Get ready to run spiritually and physically.” It made sense immediatly. I knew endurance would be required this year more so than any yet. I assumed however, this picture in the natural would be a nice and easy little reminder to journal over and reflect on… little did I know this word would carry with it more than I perceived… So I planned. I would begin adding in a mile or two into my usual and routine workout. I would run but on my terms and schedule. As you can guess, this fantasy did not last long. An evening shortly after having already started my new “lifestyle of running”, a friend who I had not shared any of this with, asked me to train with him for a half marathon. All the blood left my brain as I felt the room spin, my chest tightened, and my breath left me.. and I knew without having to consider, I was to run.

1) in hearing from the Lord a direction, we can never assume we know the scale or grandeur on which He desires to see it accomplished.

2) in setting out to accomplish goals He has laid out for us, we can never assume we already know the way to which it is to be carried out.

THE TRAINING & NECESSITY OF MAKING IT PERSONAL: it began slowly, starting with two miles and continuing to add and add and add and add and add… This first day, we ran two miles which was already a physical line I had never crossed. Panting and doubeled over I finished… actually, I’m not sure you say someone in that state “finished.” reguarless, that was day one. The weeks continued and having determined to run this out with a few of my closest friends who had experience running, the intensity increased.

Mid-training, I felt the discouragement of training with people who excelled where I certainly did not. After a bit of kicking and a small amount of screaming, I resolved I wanted to run, run well, and train with these guys. SO that meant changes. It meant that for a season, I had to actually train more than they were to make up ground. It meant that there were days I would chose not to run at their pace, but take my own that was right for me in my progress and at the same time challenge myself.

1) in hearing from the Lord a direction, with out assumption of grandeur (or smallness) we must set course for the appropriate training to see that which He desires to see accomplished, accomplished.

2) in setting out to accomplish goals He has laid out for us, we can never assume we already know the way it is to be carried out, how we are to prepare, or that the way someone else would train/prepare is the way we are to.

THE RACE AND HOPE THAT COMES WITH ENCOURAGEMENT: I knew I was in over my head, or so it felt. I knew I had not trained to the degree I wanted to or that I felt I needed to. I had pushed myself, but still felt as though I fell short. I learned the week of the race that there would be discouraging voices. Well meaning, but far from well doing in the encouragement arena. I chose to listen to those who encouraged me in the goal the Lord had given me. I weighed out what others said, but often let it fall to the wayside.

The morning of the race hit, and I stood there… stretching, about to run the furthest I had ever ran by four miles. But, that didn’t seem to phase me… I felt hope, almost to a stupor, and I ran well within that stupor of hope. In processing this I began chewing on a few things… if God’s wisdom is FAR superior to mans, and if the supernatural demands of us that we step away from reason, then I would also venture to say that there are times when we must hope to the point of stupor; past reason; beyond man’s wisdom; within the context of what God has said is possible… which if I recall correctly is “all things in Christ Jesus.”

So, in that stupor, I ran. I ran Fast. I ran with joy.

1) in hearing from the Lord a direction we are to go, with out assumption of grandeur (or smallness) we must hope against reason and man’s wisdom, and set a course for preparation to see that which He desires to see accomplished in our lives, accomplished.

2) in setting out to accomplish the goals He has laid out for us, we must walk in hope and never assume we already know the way it is to be carried out, how we are to prepare, or that the way someone else would prepare, is the way we are to prepare also.

THE FINISH LINE AND RECOVERING FROM THE BREAK THROUGH: having pushed, persevered, and endured, we finished the race in a not so shabby time. I mean, we’re no track stars, but we did finish well. Breakthrough. A goal, preparation, endurance, breakthrough. Here is where a new revelation came to rest in me very quickly.

One thing we are often not prepared for is the recovery that is needed after breakthrough. After the race, I realized quickly much of my body had shut down, and over the next 6 days I felt it. Painfully I rested. I slept. I let my body get itself back into order.

Breakthrough can be a sudden and quick rearranging. This takes recovery, or at least adjusting. We must ask ourselves, where do I need help? Who do I need to get around me? What steps do I need to take in resting and recouping? How are things different, right now, that I need to adjust to?

1) in hearing from the Lord a direction, with out assumption of grandeur (or smallness) we must hope against reason and man’s wisdom, and set a course with endurance for the preparation to see that which He desires to see accomplished, carried out and broken-through.

2) in setting out to accomplish goals He has laid out for us, we must walk in hope and must never assume we already know the way it is to be carried out, how we are to prepare the way that is right for us individually expecting to make needed adjustments along the way and after breakthrough has taken place.

When the heat is up, often our hearts strength is depleted. We feel the restlessness of vigorous and seemingly unrelenting battle. Warfare seems to be the only constant. Our knees fear the buckling of our bodies weight we are demanded to carry, yet we must carry on. We must believe, even if only in the stupor of faith and hope, that what He has called us to will be accomplished. BECAUSE IT WILL! It’s already settled so long as we prepare, endure and adjust as needed.

We don’t stop! We can’t! We mustn’t!

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2 responses

  1. Matt

    Really, really well spoken. I’m inspired by you and proud of you!

    May 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm

  2. autumnautumnautumn

    The 1/2 marathon wasn’t a one time breakthrough. It was the beginning of a process, but more than that it was the new day for a lifestyle change.

    It has served as a prophetic picture for where God is taking you by His spirit. You can try and live the way you did previously, it’s not like you would go to hell if you did. But, you just trained for how many weeks so you could let your body lose its endurance that you worked so hard to get too??? Of course you didn’t, no you trained for the 1/2 marathon but you were really adjusting a lifestyle.

    It’s the same in the Spirit….you’ve been contending for breakthrough, why then revert back to walking in the flesh what you started in the Spirit and walked out in the Spirit?

    What’s your lifestyle of stretching going to look like?

    May 16, 2008 at 2:01 pm

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