Therefore, since we also have such a large crowd of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.Hebrews 12:1-2
Have you ever trained for a race? I did once. I ran a 5K. I trained by running around my neighbourhood. I am no runner, in fact, I really struggle with seeing the point in running. I’m impressed with people who do it, but it is not my preferred form of exercise. But I wanted to prove something to myself so I signed up and got ready. I had a route that I would follow to train and every time I would hit a certain area in my neighbourhood I would know where I was in terms of distance.
When race day came I hated every second of it. Mainly because I didn’t know the route, so I had no idea how much longer it was going to take me. All the markers I had come to anticipate to help motivate me were gone and I felt like it was taking me a lot longer to move the same amount of distance.
That’s how it is at this particular moment in time. We are all running a race on a route we’ve never seen before. And the finish line is up there somewhere, but we can’t see it. We can’t tell if we’re halfway there or just starting out.
The majority of us are turned completely on our heads and its hard to remember which way we were running in the first place. No matter how we look at it, what we thought was a light jog just turned into a marathon and most of us never started training.
But God doesn’t ask us to be the most prepared, or know the best route, or have the fanciest equipment. He asks us to trust him. He encourages us that he will take care of us, just like he does for the birds and the wildflowers who never worry about what they will eat or what they will wear (Matthew 6: 25-34). All we have to do is seek after him. He wants our hearts, not our emergency supplies. He wants the best of us all of the time, not the scraps we have leftover from fighting at the grocery store for the last pack of toilet paper.
God wants us to look at this season filled with hope, even in the dismal circumstances. He wants to see the opportunity that he sees for us here. This is a time when we can grow, develop and learn from him. It’s a time to really look at our hearts and find the things we need to surrender to him. For example, being at home with my kids has really revealed my prideful heart that wants to be listened to and respected by those around me. But guess what? These adorable little monsters have other plans! And they are my mission field right now, so I’m just going to have to take it and deal with my heart. Surrender it to the Lord and keep running. Even when I don’t want to and I’d rather fall into my regular sin routine.
Because in the end, this will be worth it. Because God put you here and now for a reason, and it’s our job to rise up and say “yes, Lord.” It is our responsibility to not look at this time and think it is a waste. There are still things to learn along the way about ourselves and about the race. And when I was so done with that race, and when I couldn’t quite see that finish line, a woman standing on the sidelines caught my eyes and said “you’re doing a great job! Keep going!”
So today, I’m that woman for you: You’re doing a great job!! Keep going!! This isn’t easy, and it may be taking absolutely everything in you to take the next step, but I know you can do it, in God’s strength. So, let’s go.
Todays praise suggestion is Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. I chose it because the song talks about the incredible lengths God has gone to to bring us to himself. He has done far more than we will ever be asked to endure. Praise him! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc6SSHuZvQE