When my alarm sounded that May morning, I strongly considered rolling over and going back to sleep. A quick check of the weather app on my phone confirmed that I, along with a few thousand other participants, would be competing in our respective races in the rain coupled with a brisk temperature that I usually avoid running in. However, I pep-talked myself out of my comfortable bed and made the hour-long drive to the event location, motivated by the rewards of checking off another running goal, the dryness, warmth, and variety of sugary treats found at the indoor finish line, and sipping a steaming cup of coffee on the drive home.
When the 10k race began, I settled into my pace and eagerly anticipated the aforementioned rewards. Usually, the finish line is where my focus remains fixated, but on this particular day, God opened my eyes to blessings along the route.
The first blessing was being able to spend time in prayer as I ran. I prayed for endurance, thanked God for recent answers to prayer only He could orchestrate, lifted requests to Him, and listened for His voice. The second blessing was perseverance. He provided strength and stamina for each step through less-than-ideal conditions. The third blessing was the people God placed in my path. I appreciated the supportive fans who cheered for us, particularly the children who enthusiastically offered high-fives as participants passed.
If I had concentrated only on the finish, I would have missed miles of blessings along the way. The truth is, whether we are running a 10k or experiencing a challenging waiting season in life, we will fail to appreciate God-sent gifts along the journey if we aim all of our attention at attainment.
The blessings God provided while I ran can be found in life’s waiting seasons as well. Just as the 10k was a perfect time to enjoy the blessing of prayer, waiting seasons are also a perfect time to spend meaningful time in prayer, drawing us closer to God. Similar to how He blessed me with the gift of perseverance as I ran, He will also develop perseverance in us when we are sustaining a waiting season. Perseverance proves to us that His strength is all we need in the present and gives us confidence that it is all we need for our future. And the 10k blessing of appreciating the people God placed in my path can likewise be experienced during waiting seasons when we intentionally take our eyes off ourselves. Consequently, our relationships are enhanced, and we have more opportunities to display the love of Jesus to a world in desperate need of more of it.
While we wait for the blessing, let’s not miss the blessing in the wait. Next time we are in the midst of a waiting season, may we not become so focused on the finish that we miss out on the miles of blessings God lovingly provides along our route.