PummelWe’re making our way through life and one thing after another goes wrong, expectations mount, and desperation threatens. It feels as if we’re running the gauntlet.

The phrase describes a type of corporal punishment practiced as early as the Roman military. It appears in European history as well as US and naval history. Men were stationed in a double line, often armed with a weapon—a club, rope, leather strap, cat o’ nine tails, or fists. A guilty prisoner or offending individual was sent down the pathway to be beaten as he passes.

Today running the gauntlet is more of an initiation or celebratory ritual. Nevertheless, the concept is the same, a participant must make their way through a strenuous, intimidating, or occasionally threatening experience to reach a goal.

There have been a lot of times when I felt as if I were running a gauntlet, my makeover among them. Yes. I chose the goal of a new look. But I had little idea what was ahead and my image consultant was in charge.

Kitchen weaponsI saw a double line of makeup lessons, color evaluations, wardrobe cleansing, fashion tips, hairstyle update, shopping sagas. If it had been women armed with spatulas and wooden spoons I couldn’t have been more frightened.

But here’s the thing about running the gauntlet with Christ. Share on X

Circumstances may batter us from morning ‘til night day after day, but we’re not running a punishment gauntlet of retaliation for shortcomings or sin.

  • We live in a fallen world and things go wrong.
  • The path is arranged and infused with grace.*
  • In Christ, He bears the blows.**
  • The goal is redemption not destruction. 2 Peter 3:9***

pathwayWe’re running a growth gauntlet of refinement to prepare us for heaven**** while displaying God’s glory and producing our good.***** Sometimes the pathway is severely cluttered. Other times less so. Either way, the foundation and conclusion are sure.

Whether overwhelmed with little ones or teenagers, aging parents or painful family relationships, a demanding job or any other issue, when we’re yoked with Jesus the gauntlet is manageable and the reward is peace.******

What’s lined up in front of you these days?
Have you asked Jesus to go before, beside, and behind you yet?

Praying we each finish our run standing up,

*2 Corinthians 12:9
**1 Peter 2:24
***2 Peter 3:9
****Jeremiah 29:11
*****Romans 8:28
****** Matthew 11:28-30

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