This past weekend, I participated in a sprint triathlon. For those who don’t know the tri-lingo, a sprint is the short triathlon aka the baby triathlon. The sprint consisted of a 600m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
If I have to place myself in a category of only one of the above – I would probably choose swimming. I love cycling – but I am definitely not the type who will do big cycling events/races. And running, well let’s just say – I’m pretty unfit haha. Unless there is an upcoming race that I know I have to train for – you won’t easily find me running. I used to be a sprinter, so the love for long distance has never been rooted in my heart. And then swimming! I swam throughout all my school years and to this day – I love it with all my heart!
However, with this weekend’s race – my biggest “fear” was the swimming leg. As I DREAD cold water & let’s be honest – I haven’t trained nearly enough but anyway.
So when I dived in, the cold water hit me in the face and for the entire time I was in the water – I never got warm/adjusted to the temperature. I had a serious tough time in the water from start to finish. But as I was swimming – Phil 4:13 that says “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” – popped into my head. I was like BOOM! I’ve got this. I might suffer till the end, but I’m gonna finish this! And the rest of my swim turned from suffering focused to a blessing through the suffering. You could say that in my suffering this blog post was born haha.
And although the swim didn’t get any easier, a smile crept onto my face in the middle of an open water swim – because my focus shifted.
So often when things get hard in life, we tend to grab onto Scripture of promises and blessings or Scriptures that promises breakthrough, etc. But what God reminded me off – was that I can do all things through Him Who gives me strength. That verse does not guarantee that there will be no hardships / hard times. Or that when I find a promising piece of Scripture, that my circumstances will suddenly change. It simply means that God has already placed everything inside of me that I will need to push through. So often when hardship strikes, we start questioning why me? Or why this or that? Or why is this so hard? Where is God in all of the troublesome times?
When in fact, most of the time, it’s us who have shifted our focus. God didn’t change. He never has and He never will. He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. And He meant that!
About a month ago I saw a quote that read – you are trying to carry the mountain which you should have been climbing. I just loved it! And I think it fits in seamlessly with this blog. So many times, in life we ask God to lift the mountain off of our shoulders, to ease the burden. But yet, we don’t realise that we are making things harder for ourselves. We need to surrender our mountains at Jesus’s feet. Take the mountain off your shoulders, and start climbing it instead of carrying it. We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
We should stop asking God to change our situations that we struggle with. Of course you can (and you should) pray and tell God how you feel and what your heart’s desires are. But He already knows it whether you tell Him or not. But instead of asking God to change your situation, we can shift our focus. Keep your focus on Him. In every situation there is a lesson to be learned. There’s an opportunity to grow. Start thanking God for keeping you and protecting you – even in the midst of the raging storm!
Don’t tell God how big your mountain is. Tell your mountain how big your God is!
Hard times will come. But luckily, they won’t last forever. But whilst you face them, may you always remember that you can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens you!