“Your dad runs?” The girl beside her asked in a ridiculing tone once my dad was out of earshot.
“Yes,” my sister replied sweetly, “He ran a 400-meter race in 59 seconds, and he took state in his other race.” She left out the fact that he’s in the top ten middle distance runners in the country. She watched the girl’s jaw drop.
“Wow!” the girl said, “My dad can hardly walk to the mailbox without hyperventilating.”
It isn’t the fact that before a few years ago, my dad hadn’t run in twenty-five years that makes these stories amazing. It’s not the fact that he puts family time and my sister’s running before his own, therefore getting only a little training time himself. The thing that makes it amazing is the words my doctor said to my mom a couple of years ago: “I’m sorry. He will never run again.”
Two years ago, my dad had a slipped meniscus. He had to get knee surgery. In the process of the surgery, the doctor also realized that he had to remove a large portion of cartilage from his knee. He told my mom that my dad would never be able to run again. When my mom broke the news to my dad, he just adjusted his ice pack, laughed, and declared, “My God is bigger than that!”
About eight years ago, my dad began to have heart problems. His heart doctor was worried and he was going to have to have surgery. Then, amazingly and unexplainably, the heart problems disappeared. The doctors were baffled. My parents were not. God had listened to our prayers.
Determination, perseverance, and, most of all, faith in God. My dad was able to work through difficult times because he knew God would carry him the whole way. Remember Philippians 4:13 : “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”