Yesterday, I participated in my second half marathon. Last year I was able to run most of the 13.1 miles, but due to injury, this year I walked the race. The concern of having the race cancelled was on a lot of people’s minds. Forecasters predicted rain with a chance of lightning. The rain wasn’t so much the big deal as was the risk of being hit with an electrical volt from above, so even the threat of nearby lightning would shut everything down. I get it. You don’t want anyone to get fried on the course, but man, did I want to finish.
As my friend and I briskly walked through Detroit into Canada and back, we would pick up the pace in order to finish just in case the race would get called. I would look around the sky, seeing if the clouds were getting darker or if the storm was moving in faster. To my surprise, the rainstorm never came. In fact, at one point the sun would peek out from the clouds as if to say, “The threat is gone. There was never any real danger. It was just a threat.” Another point, the wind would pick up, the dark clouds would move in, and a sea of used water cups would roll down the road, but there wasn’t any rain or hint of lightning.
There was more of a threat in the actions that I was doing than what the sky was going to bring down. I power walked my little heart out so much that I got blisters on the bottoms and sides of my toes. Yes, blisters on my toes, but we finished the race and celebrated with amazing tacos. Yum!
The threat of the storm was just that: a threat. Until it actually happened, I wasn’t in danger. That storm was a threat, but as much as the clouds grew dark and I thought it was going to be bad, it didn’t have any power. There wasn’t any electricity in the clouds that could cause me from crossing that finish line. Yes, I had injuries and it was hard on my body, but I crossed the finish line and received a reward worthy of the race. (In my mind, Mexican food is a worthy reward of any race.)
Like the storm, Satan doesn’t have any power. As a friend of mine has said, “The only weapon the enemy has is lies.” Lies can be debunked and rendered useless if you go seek out the Truth (John 14:6). Satan can threaten all he wants, but Jesus has already told us that we have the victory in John 16:33: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Yes, we will have injuries and shortcoming. We will have moments when we think that we can’t go on, when the storms around us seem like they will come crashing in. Blisters will form from walking through hard times in faith, but blisters happen because you don’t sit and give up. Injuries are for those who have pushed themselves beyond what they thought possible. You don’t realize you have a shortcoming unless you are aiming at something greater.
Don’t let Satan lie to you and make you think his clouds of fiery have power. It’s only a rainstorm, and those do come to an end. We press on, keeping the faith to the end to earn our crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7-8), which though it may seem crazy, is so much better than tacos.