Running the Race of Pain

Have you ever considered yourself running a race through the ups and downs of illness? Bronlynn explains.

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (I Corinthians 9:24).

Lately I have been reminded of the fact that I can’t run–or even walk well. I have seen countless cars with stickers for running half or full marathons. Two of my daughters ran in a mud run. And our area is again hosting the Marine Corps Half Marathon race.

Years ago I exercised faithfully and enjoyed staying in shape. Giving that up due to back pain was very difficult, and at times like these I still struggle with that loss.

As I noticed yet another marathon sticker, I realized that those of us with health problems run a race with pain every day. Serious runners are in continual training mode and so are we. This may involve our diets (because we can’t eat certain foods), our sleep (or lack of it), and our activities. We are continually adjusting and reworking our lives to accommodate our limitations. We live and breathe our training.

All of this is quite exhausting. Yet at the end of each day, God enables us to win our race. On less painful days the race may seem like a stroll through the park. Other days it may be a marathon. We may run this race on foot, with a cane, in a wheelchair, or in bed. But whether we end the day standing up straight in victory or unable to stand at all, we have won.

I don’t need to envy any runners. I am one.

One day I will be able to run a literal marathon and perhaps I will. But somehow I don’t think that satisfaction will compare to the knowledge that right now I am persevering with God through my race of pain. I want to keep running, regardless of how exhausted I am, until I run right up to God’s finish line and get that crown of life. And because of His mercy and strength, I will.

Prayer: Lord, you have chosen me to run in this race of pain. Continue to give me the endurance and perseverance I need to run this race to the end, and to do it for Your glory. Amen.

About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, eye pain, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at

What aspects of your “race” are the hardest for you right now? How is God strengthening you to face these challenges?

There are days when we wonder if we will ever finish the race, but in this upbeat and inspiring song Building 429 sings “We Won’t Be Shaken.” This seems like the kind of song I would blast in the car and sing along to on the hard days. -Lisa

photo credit: Sky Noir via photopin cc