It’s said the hardest part of a marathon is the last few miles — the time you are in the most pain, the most exhausted and the least motivated to finish. It takes an extra measure of self discipline and exercise of will to complete the monstrous trek, one of determination and a hate for surrender.
Because this moment of a race requires so much from those who run it, it becomes the boiling point of success, the most important time for those who seek success, the vital moment where growth is prepared to blossom.
As of today — December 10 — I can tell you that I’m very much in the boiling point, and it’s not at the beginning of the requirement of faith.
I know some who say the hardest part of the race is just getting to the starting line, but I disagree. The hardest part of a race for someone who doesn’t want to be there might be the start, but for someone who wants what winning will earn them, the boiling point is among those last few miles.
I left Colorado more than a month ago with no job and no place to live with a simple hope of a word I received from my God — San Francisco. I still don’t know why I traveled so far across the country, but I have a peace that there is purpose to every step I’ve taken.
More recently, I’ve struggled with my addiction trying to resurface, and like most addictions, it comes from a desire to control something in your life. I’m out here in the nether with no indication of purpose and part of me is screaming in terror against the continued patience faith requires. If I have the faith to travel across the country to a city I know nothing about to do something I know nothing about and live somewhere I know nothing about, then I need something more to make me grow.
Some might admire that I would pick up all I have to move with no assurance of where or how to land. That might be great faith to them. But I’m already there — I’m unafraid to go. But now God is taking me to the next level — now He’s making me wait. He’s putting me over the fire of patience and he’s watching my reaction.
Do I continue to depend on His promise to provide for all my needs? To lead me in his purposes? To rely upon Him more than my circumstances?
Faith is not a singular point for people to reach and stop. Faith is a lifestyle of growth. Once you reach one point, it’s not time to stop and say: “Hey, I made it. I’m good, now.” Faith is a relationship, and when do you reach a point in a good relationship and just stop? No. It continues to grow and develop.
My feet are in a fire, a very cold, still fire that makes me fidget. My cracks ache to open, to fill themselves in the same unhealthy ways that fueled my addiction for so many years. My whole being is reacting to this place of discomfort, this place without obvious security.
And yet, when you pause to realize the true nature of a relationship with your creator, you come to learn the true value and purpose of that relationship: to devoid you of a dependence on the temporary and create a love for the everlasting. Every day, I struggle to remind myself that 1) I work for God, even if I’m unemployed with a human company, 2) I depend upon God for my provisions, such as food, clothing and shelter, and 3) God lives in the moment, and that the most important time is right now with Him. This does not preclude planning for the future, but you keep the importance of God Now at the forefront.
Are you in a Boiling Point? Does you and your family need a better job with better pay? An illness to end? A difficulty to end? Struggle to cease?
It’s not easy, and God never promised to take it away from us, but He promised to be there with us, and, if we let him, He will grow us from the inside out. As we grow stronger, he will put us into more difficult situations, but remember that He gives these situations progressively to us, not all at once. Each time of hardship is on purpose, to grow us, develop us. We don’t even see it happening, but one day, years from now, we have someone look at us and say: “Wow, how did you get through all that? I didn’t think anyone could.”
That’s when you realize that faith isn’t just about growing you, it’s also about reaching others. God never wastes an opportunity and He never works with just one goal in mind. He grows his followers so that they may stand as examples for those they haven’t even met and may never know. We are His children, not because we had it easy, but because we are examples of victory through difficulty.
Don’t give up. This will be clear later, but as most things in life, this is the time for learning and growing. When the time is right, you will see and know where you have been, and the people you love will benefit the more from it.
And one more note on boiling faith — it’s a deal like boiling water. In order to purify it, it takes great temperature and clears all out the harmful stuff from inside, distills it and makes it potable, in so many ways. Boiling is a necessary part of purifying and improving water quality. Think of it as the Water of Life, and as such, your faith must endure the same to be as pure.