What challenge are you facing right now? It may be health or financial struggles, a broken relationship, a disability, or some other impossible looking task. Whatever you’re going through, you are being stretched, pressed, perplexed…and emptied.


Perhaps, like me, you find yourself praying something like: Lord, this is so hard. My strength is waning. My weaknesses are so obvious. I don’t know if I can do this.

You said, “Go!” You said, “Follow Me.” Did I hear You correctly Lord?

You tell me, “Be strong in the Lord.” I know that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” So why does it seem to be getting harder? Lord, help!  


Honestly, there are times when I have no idea how God is going to get me through the next challenge. Sometimes I think it would be easier to stand on my head and spit nickels!

There’s no getting around it, life can be hard. The race the Lord sets before each of us is hard. Training for a race is hard and finishing strong is even harder.

So often, when the walls of impossible surround us, we feel drained and empty. But that emptiness creates more capacity for Christ’s power.


Less of me, more of Him.


Emptiness strips us of…us. It gets us out of the way so we can yield to the Lord’s perfect ways. His eternal plans. It brings us finally to say, “Not my will but Yours.”

Your way. Your timing. Your glory.

But the way we are emptied is unique to our own individual races. We mustn’t compare our race to someone else’s but we can relate to and encourage each other. And we’ve been given the same tools for overcoming: the Lord Jesus and His Word! We have the same vision and mission: knowing the Lord and making Him known.


As I near the finish line of the particular race the Lord has set before me, I want to encourage you.

Forty-nine years ago, the Lord knit me, an athlete, in my mother’s womb. Twenty-six years ago, after a period of surrender, He called me into professional cycling. I have been “running” this specific race with hupomonè—the combination of perseverance, patience, and endurance that only the Lord can supply.

I’ve run up tall mountains, through excruciatingly hot valleys, been stuck in prison, and in and out of a few trauma centers. Through it all, my eyes have been fixed on Jesus.  In fact, I relate to Paul when he said, “More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8).

I wouldn’t know the Lord Jesus as I do now if not for this crazy race adventure that He’s brought me on. And while I wouldn’t want to go through much of it again, I would not trade those trials because the surpassing value of knowing Jesus was gained in them.

Now, at age 49, He is stretching and emptying me further. The Lord still has me following Him in the sport of cycling, but like Sarah in the Bible (having a baby at 90) this faith adventure no longer makes human sense.

I’m old. My body has niggles, my brain has doubts, and my strength comes and goes. But the Lord says, “Keep going. One more lap! You can do this!”

God doesn’t command me to “stand on my head and spit nickels” but He does assure me that I can stand firm IN HIM. I hear Him say, “Use My strength. It is limitless and ageless. Let your gold be for My glory!”

He reminds me that my success is not determined by an outcome, but in my faithfulness and obedience to Him. His ways are higher than mine and I still need to lean not on my own understanding. I must still trust Him with all my heart.

So, I press on.

Not because I feel like it but because I want to trust and obey and honor my Lord by finishing what He has put in my path. So, in whatever you’re facing today, I want to encourage you.


Remember Jesus’ promises.


There is purpose to your path and there is power in His Word. His truth should always overrule your feelings and doubts. Don’t be afraid to follow Him, even when it seems to make no sense.

While you wait, worship and work.

The waiting builds capacity for His power. While you work, keep waiting and worshipping. Exercise and work out the Word that He has already worked into you.

In yourself, you might be empty. But in Christ, you are completely full. He is with you, and in you.

You can do this!  Because He will do it.