Today, on day 135 of my runstreak, I ran a Biblical quantity, 4.13 miles as measured by Garmin Connect and Runkeeper.Ironic: those two measurers almost never align. I was going for a 4 mile run. When I saw the numbers and that they aligned with my favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”) I was amazed. Divine intervention? Or at least more that coincidence, perhaps divine alignment. As Blessed John Paul II (soon-to-be saint) said in 1982, “In the designs of Providence there are no mere coincidences.” I wholeheartedly agree! John Paul II died nine years ago today and I that’s all I could think about during my run: the heroic virtuous Catholic faith and love that he displayed that I try to to imitate in my life. After all, saints are sinners that keep on trying.
Since I was a child, when I’ve struggled with anything, I began repeating the words of Philippians 4:13 to myself over and over. Dozens of times at a time sometimes, memorizing it eventually. It really comforted me and strengthened me beyond what I thought possible.
Lots of challenges have tried to block me: asthma, allergies, fatigue, dealing with impossible situations in my life, ridiculous amounts of stress at times, people telling me I can’t (or shouldn’t) do this or that. And mostly I try to ignore all that negativity and the doubt and fear that I encounter. I know God is in my corner and that’s what matters most to me. My family and friends know this Bible verse really goes to the core of who I am and who I want to become. It also helps me deal with fear of new (and present) challenges, of change, of running a 50k ultramarathon in 6 months! My faith is very important to me and this Bible verse best expresses my attempt to persevere and fight for what I believe in, to run and jump if necessary through that leap of faith to become who God wants me to be. Excited about the future!
Here’s a song “His Strength is Perfect” by Steven Curtis Chapman that begins with the words to Philippians 4:13 and has gotten me through all kinds of difficulties and challenges. Enjoy!