What To Do When You Hit "The Wall"

With my God I can scale a wall.
— 2 Samuel 22:30 NIV

If you think you cannot go any farther . . .  you can! You've just got to get past "The Wall."

Marathoners are familiar with "Hitting the wall." It is legendary. Runners usually encounter this invisible barrier around mile twenty.

It's the point where the flesh weakens, the spirit sags and the will drains away into a little puddle on the ground. Legs turn to melting Jell-O and breath comes in short, gasping gulps.

Runners are not the only ones who hit the wall. Life itself is a marathon. We all get weak-kneed. There are:

  • Parenting walls: "That kid is going to drive me crazy!"
  • Loneliness walls: "Does anyone care?"
  • Relational walls: "If I have to talk to that person one more time . . ."
  • Financial walls: "We're bankrupt!"
  • Work walls: "Is everyone in this place a complete idiot?"
  • Spiritual walls: "Where are you God?"
  • Difficulty walls: "If we don't turn things around we're toast!"

Walls seem insurmountable. When we hit the wall, it is like standing at the foot of Mt. Everest in our shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops. We know that we don't have what it takes to get over the top.

Are you facing a wall today? Let David be your coach.

David was a runner – literally and figuratively. He ran from his King. He ran from his son. He ran to God. He ran from God. David's life was a pave-pounding marathon and he hit The Wall:

  • Goliath: The wall of impossible odds.
  • Saul: The wall of deadly jealousy.
  • Bathsheba: The wall of irresistible temptation.
  • Absalom: The wall of parental heartache.

But David knew the secret to break through these walls:

For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
— 2 Samuel 22:29-30 ESV

David faced enemy troops. You do too! There is the daily invasion of e-mail, the sniper-fire of a disgruntled co-worker, the uphill march on a challenging assignment, and the relentless misinformation campaign of a counter culture.

These are our walls. How do we scale them? David's answer gives hope for every runner struggling to get over heartbreak hill:

With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

Today, make David's song your song:

  • With my God I can leap over fatigue.
  • With my God I can leap over heartache.
  • With my God I can leap over frustration.
  • With my God I can leap over disappointment.
  • With my God I can leap over temptation.

Just when you think you cannot possibly go any farther – you can! Lean on the Lord. You won't just break through that wall, you will leap right over it. God will give you the strength to get you to the finish line. 


"It's the point when . . ." from Michael Bane, "Breaking Through The Wall", in Men's Fitness, April 1999. Found in www.findarticles.com. Accessed January 20, 2011.