Jogging has come naturally to my youngest daughter who is competing in cross-country races through her school. She glides with seemingly effortless rhythm and regularly finishes at the front of the heat. My older two children are also competing, but jogging has not come naturally to them. They have to push hard when their young lungs struggle to keep up. They find it discouraging when the other runners pass them. They find hills daunting and finish lines out of sight. So we train together, we encourage each other through the tough patches, and we work hard in practice with hope that the training will be rewarded. Sometimes, the next race day arrives and, once again, the challenge is daunting. Sometimes, the older two just want to give up.
We can all experience these valleys of struggle in our lives. The marathon that is the life of faith can seem daunting, struggling to catch our breath while finish lines seem out of sight. Yet we are at peace with God. In our baptism, we are promised an inheritance with all the saints. God is with us and will sustain us in our struggles and triumphs. Run the race with hope.
Keep me grateful in the tough times, O God. Remind me that our hope in you will not disappoint. Amen. — ANS