Running the race set before us

Hey everyone, thanks for joining me at the well today. I want to talk a little about a verse in Hebrews 12:1. It was my verse of the day, and it has really resonated with me all day. I feel like the Lord wants me to write this message to someone, so sit back and let drink in some of this cool living water our Abba has for us from the well!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. “Hebrews 12:1 NLT

I was not a particularly healthy child growing up. I was constantly sick and in and out of doctors’ offices all the time. Growing up, I did not ask a lot of questions except where is the food and can I go play outside! Through the years I would have bouts of sickness and fatigue that was debilitating, even as a teen and throughout my twenties. In my thirties  I had children, I figured this was normal! In all seriousness, it was not until late in 2012 after a knee surgery that I discovered and was diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Yes, that is more than enough for anyone, I was overwhelmed with new meds, a totally new way of life and a new reality I could not control and did not want to face. Discouragement, anger, and fear were my constant companions. I literally tried every vitamin, oil, diet, powder, you name it I tried everything promising a miracle. I did not get it. I got worse and had to start infusions, and giving myself chemo shots, more pills, and still the illness and pain was worse than I had ever felt. It was horrible. This has been a part of my story since I can remember, it now had a name. Auto-immune disease. Ugly as it was, I had the blood work and the symptoms and was laid out because of it. I thought my life as I knew it, my purpose was ruined by this diagnosis. By me not being able to physically and at times mentally keep up, work or even get out of bed some days.

So, what is the point of all of this you ask? My point is this, we all have a race to run, the way we think or plan is not always the way our race goes. We have all been called by God our Father to faith through Christ, to run our race and to endure to the very end. My race doesn’t look like others races, and yes, I have a disability, at times one that literally puts me in bed for days. That in no way excludes me from serving in the capacity I am able  or from sharing the good news of Christ! As I look over this passage today in Hebrews 12:1 and see the second part of the verse, that says we are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses, I cannot help but think of those who have gone before us , the champions of our faith, those who ran with endurance their races. Those who left it all on the track. This is where I get my inspiration, this is where I find my strength when I feel like throwing in the towel. The verse has three parts, in the first Paul challenges us to think of those who as I said finished their race, with steadfastness, and endurance. The second part is to lay aside the things that hinder us, sin. There it is, we have to take that sin off of us, the one bible I have describes in a text commentary running a race with heavy boots, and heavy clothes on. Runners wear next to nothing, they want to be light, not bogged down with things that only cause them to be slower. The third part to the verse is to run the race with endurance, that God has set before us. We have to endure, this is not a sprint, it’s a long race, it’s life. We can’t endure without fuel, without encouragement, this is why I believe Paul described the cloud of witnesses, those who we can look to for examples of how to live, how to endure, we look to those heroes of our faith to guide the way. We have to keep our eyes on Jesus and keep running, remembering to cast off the garments of sin and death that will only weigh us down and hinder our race, maybe even cause us not to finish.

 I want you to know that nothing is to small an act of service, a word, a testimony, nothing is too small to be counted toward building His kingdom! We need prayer warriors, encouragers, people to write, people who can listen to someone, to share a story, fold laundry, give someone a smile or a wave. All these things are important. Don’t let being limited stop you from serving the Lord. There is always room at his table! I have done different things at different seasons, there are times I act as a prayer warrior because I will not be able to do other things, so I want to reiterate this again, please don’t shy away from running this race and completing your race! There is always more to do for the kingdom, and we are all called to many different things. 1 Cor 12 describes the body of Christ, and it’s many parts. Sometimes we are one part and as the seasons of our life change our assignments can too. God will not waste one ounce of you in whatever season you are in. Trust Him! Talk to Him! Serve Him!

God bless you all, and thank you for being at the well with me today. I love you all and am cheering with our great cloud of witnesses!!! Keep Going, you got this, you are a child of the King!!! Keep fighting!!!

Beth

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