Enduring with Joy

runRock

There are times on long runs where I wonder if I'll even make it to the end, whether it be because of my lungs, my knees, my back, my hip (what, am I old or something??), the weather, or whatever else seems to be a "road block" to my finishing. I’m told that a lot of the time, getting to the end is a mental game. Once you hit a certain mile, everything seems to go numb, and you just. keep. going. Some runs are better than others. Some runs are easier than others. Some runs are more enjoyable than others. Some days are all running with no needed walking. But it's a whole package deal. You can't just have the good days without any of the hard days.

This reminds me of similarities to the Christian life. Days aren’t always happy and cheery; work isn’t always smooth and stress-free; friendships and relationships aren’t always a walk in the park. But we keep going. It’s not always a sprint, or a run, or a jog. It may be a walk at times. A very slow walk.

We had been going through Hebrews at church in Utah during team training, and these are some things that stuck out to me as I've been learning and growing through the series.

Hebrews 12:1-3 "...let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”

—Keep running the Christian race! What is it that hinders? These "weights" are not necessarily sins in and of themselves, but are they a hinderance to running well? It is so important to be straight up and honest with what some weights may be. Are they sought after for satisfaction or comfort, or are they an obsession with some item, hobby, purchase, relationship, etc.?

—When I run to these and see satisfaction, I no longer believe that God is my True Satisfier, nor am I trusting in Him. God has given us Christian fellowship (the church!) to see us, speak into our lives, and help us on our journey of growing in Christ. Hiding from such fellowship will only be a detriment.

—This run demands ENDURANCE and REQUIRES me to FINISH until the END of my life; it’s not some short sprint. Buckle that seatbelt! There are going to be some bumps up ahead.

—God has given me the exact race that I must run…trials and all. Nothing has taken God by surprise. And I can rest in that comfort.

—So what do I do? I keep focusing on Jesus. Look to Him. Consider Him and His humanity (that He suffered in life while also keeping His Father’s will first).

—Jesus, the Founder, is the One Who gets me into the race (it’s not anything that I have done), and He is the finisher. Jesus is not just a mere example for me to follow…He is my LORD (authority), and it is alllllllllll through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:19 ).

 

Jesus is the One Who paid for me, and He is the One Who will keep me.

Praise be to God for His loving, guiding, and steadfast hand.


Thanks for reading!

—Bethany


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