Psalm 56:13 – “For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” NIV
Hurdle (n.) – an artificial barrier; obstacle
In times past I was the girl who cracked under pressure! When bills were due and I didn’t have the money to pay them…I cracked. When my baby started talking and calling for her daddy…I cracked. When I felt like I couldn’t handle the task placed in front of me…I cracked. Finally, I got tired of cracking and not being able to withstand the tests and trials I was having.
John 16:33 – “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” NLT
The past few weeks I have had the privilege of coaching hurdles for my school track team. I will be the first to tell you I knew absolutely NOTHING about track. I stayed away from this sport growing up. One, it was outside. Two, there was TOO much running involved!!! I went into this job assignment knowing nothing, but God has taught me some things as I have opened my heart and mind to do what is uncomfortable.
Hurdles are nothing but artificial barriers placed on a track…knowingly! Hurdles often trip my girls up because maybe their count is off, their form was wrong, or just plain old fear to step over it. Either way it goes, they know it’s coming. That’s the same way with our lives. We have hurdles! Jesus told us we would have hard times. He also told us to keep watch for the enemy as well because he is the ruler of this world (1 Pet. 5:8) looking for ways to trip us up. Therefore, we should train ourselves on how to combat our thoughts or feelings we get when hard times come!
Romans 5:3-5 – “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
I have researched, not that I had much of a choice, what it would take to coach my girls over the hurdles and be successful in doing so. And everything I saw was pretty much the same: 8 steps to the first hurdle, 3 steps between hurdles thereafter, and (here’s my favorite) DON’T JUMP AROUND IT BUT STEP RIGHT OVER THE MIDDLE OF IT. Then there’s a such thing called the lead and trail leg. I interpret that by saying, “Put your best foot forward (lead leg) and don’t forget to land on solid ground (trail leg snaps over the hurdle)”. Learning these key steps have truly blessed my life! And most importantly, stay FOCUSED until you reach the finish line.
Learning about the stride between hurdles has taught me perseverance. Hurdles are going to be present in our lives, but how we get over them is the key. Jumping over them leaves me in the air too long…but just stepping over them places my feet back on solid ground as quickly as possible! It’s the stride that helps me over. Keeping my mind stayed on the count [1, 2, 3…up (repeat until you reach the finish line)] keeps me focused. In my life, it’s the meditation of songs, scriptures, fellowship, and serving others. I do my best to combat those doubtful thoughts before and after they try to affect my walk with Christ! God has been developing my GODfidence in this matter.
Hebrews 10:36 – “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” NLT
At times my girls get tripped up by the hurdle, and sometimes it knocks them down or causes them to stumble. First thing I say is, “GET UP. KEEP GOING. FINISH”. They have to realize the race is not over and that they need to finish. If I let them get into the habit of starting over, quitting, or even walking through the motions they won’t be making progress. We’ll be jumping over the same hurdles. Their confidence would be at a stand still and they wouldn’t be focused anymore!
God does the same to us! When our obstacles (bills, fear, anxiety, etc.) try to weigh us down; He doesn’t want us to quit (1 Peter 5:7). He encourages us to keep going (Galatians 6:9) because He has something planned for us (1 Cor. 2:9). If we could just stay focused (1 Cor. 15:57). “
“The beauty of overcoming hurdles is you learn to just step over them in the midst of your stride.”
This has been one of the greatest lessons God has ever taught me as a single parent. I got tired of jumping over the same hurdles (…moment of transparency): financial instability, loneliness, and the burden of shame that came from having a baby by a married man. I needed God to truly help me with my strength to overcome these obstacles that literally stopped me in my tracks. No longer will I allow those hurdles, or attacks, of the enemy cause me to lose my footing. I’ll just step over them patiently enduring as God grants me access to the next level. I pray the same for you…
Isaiah 40:31 – “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” KJV