There comes a time in every long-distance race when the energy that runners start with is not enough to carry them through to the finish line. Strength is depleted. Fatigue sets in. Pain intensifies. Runners are tempted to quit altogether. The antidote to this is not trying harder or digging deeper (there is nothing in the reserves to dig into); what is needed is reinforcements – energy from an external source.

Seasoned runners anticipate “the runners wall” and take calculated measures to mitigate against it. One of these measures is to routinely replace used-up energy with external carbohydrates and sugars – in the form of energy gels, drinks and bars. To ignore these is to set oneself up for failure.

The race of life is no different. Even the strongest need regular encouragement from sources other than themselves lest they hit a wall and find it difficult to continue their race. You cannot depend on your own strength and expect to finish your race well. Your abilities can carry you to a point, but not any further. Self-sufficiency may seem good on paper, but it is self-defeating in practice. We would always need the encouragement of others. We cannot get too far in the pursuit of purpose without strength from God and His word.

Situations will always arise to knock you off your stride. You can fight them in your strength and receive all the glory for overcoming adversity (the problem with this approach is that every wave of adversity will deplete you until you have no more will to fight). Better still, you can receive encouragement and counsel from God’s word and depend on Him for victory. Make this a habit and you have all you need when you hit “the wall” that may suddenly arise between where you are and your desired destination.

David encountered such a situation. He hit a solid, unsurmountable wall in his journey towards destiny. The Amalekites had raided Ziklag and carried away his wives, his children and the families of his men. Everyone wept until there was no more strength to weep. To make matters worse, all the men talked about stoning David to death. They had believed in the prophecies and anointing over his life, but it was all over now. There was no point in believing any longer.

David needed strength. He could not find the strength from within himself. Surely, he could not draw it from his embittered men. Instead, David “found strength in the Lord his God.” With this strength, he pursued the Amalekites, overtook them and recovered all that they had stolen from him, and much more. Just try and imagine what would have happened if David did not encouragement himself in the Lord!

Have you hit a brick wall in life? Have you grown tired, weary and utterly dejected? It is time you look beyond yourself and trust in the Lord your God. It’s time to switch over to the Lord’s unlimited resources. For “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Your race is not over. It has only just begun…

References: 1 Samuel 30:1-19; Isaiah 40: 28-31

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