Hebrews 12:3 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I haven’t been able to run for about 2-years now, because of health reasons; I have never forgotten the reasons why I loved to run. I miss the burn and the runner’s high that purged stress from my body, leaving me with a feeling of accomplishment and refreshment at the end. When I was young, I could run for hours. After I aged a bit, the abuse my body experienced because of the years of hard labor and ego driven and competitive sports…they took a toll on my body. They made it impossible for me to run without experiencing pain. A 45 minute run through my favorite trails in the Anacortes Forest Land was full of all sorts of opposition: steep hills, low hanging branches, ankle breaking roots, and muddy and slippery eroded trail conditions, making every stride a challenge. Each step reminded me that I was years beyond my youth, and the days of painless running were far behind me. Laboring through my course was always difficult and challenging, but the promise of the reward at the end always encouraged me to press forward, ignoring any pain, confident and sure that I would be stress-free and richly rewarded for crossing the finish line. Jesus understands opposition; he faced overwhelming hostility from those God called “my chosen people,” and yet he still finished his race, all the way to the cross. The author of Hebrews says that while discouragement and hopelessness are the pain of opposition I will likely face at every corner of my journey, the joy of crossing the finish line at the end, knowing I didn’t quit, is the great payoff. It’s as if Jesus is running right at my side every step of the way through my own journey, encouraging me and spurring on all the way to a strong finish at the end. “Don’t quit! You can make it. Pain is your friend; it tells you that you are still in the race, and you’re still living your purpose.” His burden has now become my peace. I am not alone. Every obstacle that trips me up is a reminder that Jesus faced the same difficulties I am experiencing today. He went before me and made it…and while it’s true that “he’s God, that’s why he made it,” he was also human, thereby experiencing the same fatigue, pain, and resistance that I am experiencing. I can make it because he made it.
Lord, I ask you to lead the way…I’m just 2-steps behind you, and I will not quit until we make it to the finish line together. Thank you for inviting me to stay always in the game, and become the overcomer you yourself are.