““1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV”
In 2007 I decided to run in a marathon. I had never run in one before, but it was always a dream of mine. Twenty-six point two miles was a lot of miles, and although I was a runner, I had never taken on the task of running for that long. I realized that I would need some intense training – I was going to need to build up some endurance. So, like Forrest Gump, I just started running! My training happened over six months, and the miles increased slowly and steadily. Every week the training got harder and harder, but as race day approached, I felt “ready,” and I was enthusiastic about finally competing in the race.
I did cross the finish line on race day, but not without some hurdles and hurts along the way. As hard as the training was, I realized that had I not trained so hard, there was no way I could have finished the race.
When I read Hebrews 12:1-2, I think back to that day: I ran with light clothing, I prepared a hydration pack, and many supporters were on the sidelines cheering us on. Even though it was painful, and I sustained injuries, I still finished the race by God’s grace.
Where are you at in your journey? Are you in training? I know it’s hard but keep pushing yourself! You can do it! It is preparing you to finish the race. Are you currently in the marathon? I know it is hard but keep going! It is so worth it when you cross the finish line! Don’t get discouraged. Instead, like Jesus, whose focus was on the joy that was set before him, take the eyes of your heart and look to Jesus, the founder and perfector of your faith. He is the prize! He is worth it!
PRAYER: God, please give me the endurance I need to run this race of the Christian life. I need you to give me the grace I need to show a heart posture that is pleasing to you because sometimes that race is painful. Help me to focus my spiritual eyes on you as I run because you are my prize and my truest joy! You are so worth it!