I just read a fascinating Bible verse from Hebrews 12:1: "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...."
I found this so captivating because some translate to "run with patience." I thought to myself: "say wha?!" How does someone patiently run?
I'm quite certain that all you long distance runners out there are probably raising your hands: "I know, I know, I know!!!"
And you're right! When I looked up the Greek, the meaning was right there: hypomonē:
But for me, sometimes I forget that the race is long. It's not a sprint to the finish line. This race lasts my lifetime here on earth. I must be trained for the long haul.
During this race, we will face both "encumbrances" and "sin."
Encumbrances represent any weight or burden that might be bending us over while we are trying to run. It might be the cares of this world, worries, toxic thinking.
Sin in this context means missing the mark, to be mistaken, to wander from the path of uprightness and honor -- to do or go wrong. In this race, sin detours us away from the foot path God has designed for us.
Both encumbrances and sin can take a drastic toll on us mentally, spiritually, and even physically. If we are not careful to ditch the weight and if we are not determined to stay on the right path, we may find ourselves lost.
And feeling "buckled under" or "lost" can be a really scary place to be.
When we Christians find ourselves burdened or disoriented (from our own choices and waywardness), we can pause for a moment and regroup.
I am so grateful for grace and mercy in my time of need.
I need to remind myself that this is a long journey we're on. When we trip or fall or wander off course, let's not give up; let's dust ourselves off. Let's be very, very, very kind to ourselves.
Indeed, it might be time to practice new training methods. We may need to dig deeply into what tempts us. Analyze our thought life and emotions. Are we believing any lies? Not trusting God? Are there wounds in our heart we have never addressed? Do we need to surround ourselves with a community of "runners" who will cheer us on?
Personal growth and maturation my seem overwhelming, but we can simply start with one baby step in the right direction. I truly hope you enjoy your race and run patiently (!) to win!
For more "life lessons" and encouragement, click on a category on the right that interests you! You'll also find some freebies on the website (top task bar) to help you take thoughts captive and be more grateful in the day to day of it all. Feel free to print the worksheets. I'd love to know if they make any difference in your thought life and the day-to-day of it all for you! Shoot me an email to let me know :)
May God abundantly bless you on your journey.
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