knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives,
and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
– Luke 11:9-10 (ESV)
At the age of forty-four, I ran my first marathon—the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. To this day, I’m still not sure what made me decide to enter the race. Maybe it was as simple as accepting a challenge and proving to myself that I could do it. Many of my friends thought I was crazy and maybe I was to think I could actually complete the 26.2 mile course. I joined others runners as part of the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training program, and they taught me how to train properly. Over a period of six months I built my stamina and endurance and my confidence grew. It was fun to be part of such an encouraging group of people who were running for a great cause. It was hard and I quickly learned there were no shortcuts. If I didn’t do the work, there would be little chance of my finishing the race. I had heard experienced runners say that a marathon is two races—the first twenty miles and the last 6.2 miles. I became a believer! As I passed the twenty mile marker, my body was wearing down. I battled fatigue and muscle cramps during the final 6.2 miles. My mind and my body fought over the idea of quitting. I pressed on and was filled with emotion as I crossed the finish line. I had finished the race, doing something I didn’t think I could do.
Luke challenges us in his teachings not to get discouraged or quit in our prayer life. Sometimes God answers our prayers the first time we ask, and in other cases, He answers after prolonged requests. We are to keep asking, keep searching, and keep knocking. There are no shortcuts and we are to never quit! Luke reminds us that everyone who asks receives; everyone who seeks finds, and everyone who knocks, has that knock answered. When we pray, God always gives us what we ask for or He gives us something better. A no answer means that He knows our request would not be best for us, and His denial is better than our request. As coaches or as parents, we constantly encourage those in our care to never give up. Our personal challenge is to listen to the wisdom of Luke. Don’t ever quit on God because He will never quit on you.
Thank You Father for always being available when I need You. Give me Your strength today to keep going even when I want to quit. Amen.