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How easy is it to fall into a hole? As easy as it sounds. Run fast enough, get distracted for even a second, and the next thing you know you're underground, looking at darkness and dirt.

Running the spiritual race is difficult, but pressing on when you feel like stopping builds confidence. Feeling your legs getting stronger and your breath coming in easier builds confidence. Confidence is good, but it can be dangerous when put in the wrong place. During the last couple of years, I made a few mistakes in my personal life. And by “few” I mean many and my “personal life” affected the lives of others. I was in a spiritual hole, a pretty deep one. I only recently realized the problem: I had put my confidence in myself, and not the One who had given me the strength to run.

We are not self-sufficient beings; we need Christ for every breath, every step, every single mile in our spiritual path. Unfortunately, pride gets in the way of relying fully on God. Pride takes over and suddenly we are the ones who have made it far, we are the ones who have strengthened others, and it’s through our own strength that we continue running.  Reality check! We were made by God, out of dirt— which was also made by God. We are nothing, He is everything.

Trapped by Our Own Humanity

Realizing that we are completely useless on our own is not an easy thing to do. It is only in the hole, trapped by our own humanity, that we humble ourselves and reach out to God, admitting that we messed up. Then, completely helpless, we feel ourselves being lifted from our hole. God has placed us on His firm ground once again. He has given us a new opportunity to keep running. For me, God put me in a new place, a college surrounded by people who love Him, breathing new air with thousands of new opportunities. The hole that had taken over my life was no more.

It’s tempting to let the guilt take over at that point, because we really are undeserving of God’s amazing grace, but we must forget what is behind and strain towards what is ahead, pressing on towards the ultimate goal: Heaven (Philippians 3:12-14).

So, you fell into a hole. Once you’re lifted, dust yourself off. After taking a few steps forward and glancing back for a moment, you might be surprised to find that where there once was a hole, there is now nothing but firm ground. Then keep running, thanking God with every breath, even the hard ones.

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By Raquel Levy. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelinesScripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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