“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1,2). They use to advertise Wheaties as the breakfast of champions. Well, maybe it is for some champions, never did anything for me. I wonder how many kids started having. Wheaties every morning thinking it some sort of magical athletic potion almost guaranteed to assure them their favorite position on the team. The Bible often employs figures and symbols from athletics to describe the life of faith, and with good reason. There are many parallels to be found between the two. A foot race is probably the most often used figure from the not-so-wide world of sports in the first century, but boxing and wrestling are also used. The most important race of all is the race of life. All the ingredients to a race are there, there is the starting line, practice, rules, obstacles, competition, drop-outs, winners, losers, finish line, victory celebrations and the agony of defeat. There are many witnesses who have run the race who are referred to in Hebrews chapter eleven by name. We are now engaged in the race that they have run and already finished. We are in their shoes (or sandals). We have yet to cross the finish line though. Our victor’s crown (the first century equivalent to our gold medal) has not yet been awarded. But remember, the end of your race, win or lose, is closer today than it was yesterday. Angels are cheering. Eternity draws ever nearer. Our Redeemer is waiting.
Lord, thank You for Your grace and mercies that are new every day. As I run the race towards the crown of victory, help me to keep my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. May Your Word be my breakfast every day and my prayer of faith be the sweetener. I know there is nothing magical about how and when Your answers come. Yet I know they will come and the timing will be perfect. I will wait upon You and give You the glory for all the good in my life, in the wonderful name of Jesus, the name above all names, amen.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)