Running The Race

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”   (Heb 12:1 NKJ)
When I read that passage, I always get a picture of all the  saints of God who have gone on before us all lined up at the finish line in a marathon.  It is near the end and I am tired and weary.  I don’t think that I can go on another step, but the encouraging  saints are cheering me on to keep on going, shouting “Your almost there… It’ll be worth it!”!!!
I then realize that I can go on if I can get rid of the excessive weight of sin that I am carrying.  So, while the saints who have run this race before us are encouraging me,  I decide to lay aside the sin that besets me and take the next step in my journey.  What a difference it made.  Then before I knew it, I crossed the finish line, exhausted, and there my Jesus was there to personally welcome me.  He tells me, the race is over, your labor is finished, abide in my rest.
We all have those who have run this race before us and finished it.  They know what lies ahead for us at the finish line.  Sometimes, we forget what’s ahead for us.  Sometimes we fall in love with the race and not the One we are running to.  We need to be reminded that this life is not our goal or purpose, but it is just the means to get where we are supposed to end up.  We get distracted by the things along the race that we think are great or wonderful.  We begin to think the places that we stop to rest as good enough or maybe even better than the place we are running to.
We also run this race with the idea that we can take on all the garbage (sin) of this world and still run this race.  It is amazing how when times get tough along the way, we tend to add to the weight instead of shedding it. How we entangle ourselves in sin that trips us up.  
Then we want to give up… We can’t… there is a prize that awaits us at the end of this life.  This is all worth it.
When this happens to me, I imagine looking ahead and seeing, Abraham, David, Paul, my grand-parents all cheering and yelling at me to get up and keep moving.  Take the next step.  Get rid of that burden, that sin and keep going.  We’ve got Someone waiting for you.
Don’t give up… but give in to God.  Pray for strength to finish running the race.

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