Running and Races

One of the things that I love about Scripture is that it can speak to us in different ways at different times:  The meaning becomes personal.  I had this submission from Lynn Severance to use as a guest post, but with my foggy brain, I had forgotten the verse she used for it when I chose yesterday's verse.  I realized when I reread it before posting that it is the same verse as the one from yesterday, but with a completely different way of understanding it.  Thanks, Lynn, for this great post.  You can find out more about Lynn below her devotional for today.

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1. 

I recently viewed photos of a former student, now a young woman. She had just completed running a marathon. Her victory smile was appropriate.  

Although  I can smile, I no longer am able to run. There are times I need to access my cane or my walker, but I do thank God that I can walk. I have friends needing a wheelchair for aiding them in their mobility. I know others whose daily needs require full-time assistance. 

Am I to take this Scripture literally? What is the race marked out for me? I must reconfigure my thoughts around the word, race.

This Scripture continues and exhorts me to look to Jesus who completed the task set before him when on earth. He never questioned the course his Father ordained. I can struggle with the course set before me. Will I make the next step, let along the next mile? Yet, I can look back at the route of my life and see God’s faithfulness along each step of the way. . . the steps I feared I could not take.

I listen to others who face daily physical challenges and hear them say, “I no longer feel productive.” 

I have known this struggle at various times and  eventually it leads me to ask, “Productive to whom?” There was a time when my productivity was more tangible and visible. Yet, who has set my race before me? Who recorded my days before I was born? 

The word race, in this context need not mean a competition, but an acceptance of the life course God has for me. He has promised to give sufficient strength to help me complete all that he has asked of me. A cloud of witnesses who have reached their finish line are cheering me on. They have received their reward  for persevering.  

If I compare my yesterdays to today, I can get entangled and face inadequately the part of my race that is for now. I can get thrown off the track if I am not careful. I want to stay hydrated with God’s grace, keeping my eyes on Him. 

He knows the direction we are going. We race together, no matter the pace. With Him, I will reach the finish line exactly when the moment is right and that is a race I know I will win.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that I am not alone to face the course you have mapped out for my life. As you accompany me, encouraging me onward, I remain grateful to be in this race with you. Amen.

More about Lynn: Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 30 years of living with daily physical challenges. Lynn is a part of the devotional writing team for Rest Ministries, a Christian website that ministers to those who live in chronic pain and/or with chronic illness. Lynn blogs, when she can, at this address.


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