“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”—Hebrews 12:1-2
I love the outdoors. Walking, hiking, swimming. If it has to do with being out of the four walls of the house, you can count me in. That being said, I have never been a runner. I have tried to run. I bought the running shoes, the nifty outfit that screams “I run!!”, the water bottle thingy that would keep me hydrated. I did everything the experts said to do to prepare to run. But the actual get out and run? Not only was it painful, I ended up at the doctor’s office with a terrible case of shin splints. Nope. Running is just not on my list of favorite things to do.
Some of our children are runners. Next to oldest daughter and next to youngest son have run in marathons. In Jr. High and High school our next to youngest son ran cross country. His one attempt at running track was, shall we say, less than successful. But I could have told him that he came by that honestly. His best running was done out in the freedom of the long, winding road. He enjoyed the endless change of scenery, the surprise of the next bend. The only constant was the path and even that was full of things that could easily trip him up, making him more aware of his every step.
One of my favorite pictures of him is right beside my bed. While he may see it as an epic moment of embarrassment, I see it as an incredible reminder of God’s grace and mercy. Even when we are tripped up by the daily sins and we stagger under the weight of all our worries and cares, He has called us to get back up and finish the race. He is our coach, our trainer, and our cheering section. He is there at the finish line, arms stretched wide to congratulate us. Yet He is also along every painful mile of the course, living water in hand, encouraging us, showing us the safest place to take our next step.
Yes, that is our son. Tripping, falling in a spectacular moment of water, mud, and circumstance. But I don’t see that moment. I see what happened at the end of that day. In spite of all that he had endured during that race, in spite of all the laughter of his peers, in spite of bruises both to body and heart my son got up and finished that race. In first place, coming from behind in a final burst of confidence and momentum. While the crowd cheered wildly for the winner, most had no idea what he had overcome to win that race. But I knew. God knew. And most importantly, my son knew. He had endured. He had finished the race. And he received more confidence than a million trophies could ever provide.
Dearest Father God, thank You for the path that You have placed before us. Thank You for giving us the training manual for the race we are going to run. Most of all, we thank You for standing there at the finish line, waiting with open arms to welcome us to the celebration of our victory. We look forward to our Heavenly reward for running this race we call life. Help us to endure to the end, step by painful step. You are our trainer, our coach, our encourager. We are so grateful for Your Mercy and Grace when we trip and fall. We love You Lord. In Christ Jesus we pray, Amen
copyright2013, Michelle Welch, Team member Breath Of Life Women’s Ministries
Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, New living Translation, copyright1996,2004,2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. ;