Perseverance: The Race of a Lifetime
He drags himself out of bed with a groan and heads to the bathroom once again. I glance at the clock. Two o’clock in the morning. I hear the shower and close my eyes in anguish. Oh, how I wish I could wash his pain away like the water pouring over him right now. How much longer can he do this? How much longer can I?
Hebrews 12:1-2 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He looks so tired today. I heard his computer game again last night so I know he didn’t sleep. He worries so much and I don’t know how to ease his mind. Where is he going to live? How much money will he have and when can he access it? Will he be able to make the grades he needs this time? So much going on in his head, sleep is a forgotten pastime. How much longer can he do this? How much longer can I?
Matthew 6:31-34 So, do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Perseverance. It is a concept I face every day. I wake up each morning and pray for the strength to listen to a suffering husband. I join him with every fiber of my being. I love him. As I watch my son worry about his future, I pray for the guidance to help alleviate it. In the end, I worry with him because I love him.
I can’t help but wonder… Is this my race? If so, I must be a cross country runner. This race is a challenge! Do I get any breaks? Okay, now I sound like a whiner. I never was a good athlete. I open my Bible and read Hebrews 12 once again.
The phrase ‘Keep our eyes on Jesus’ leaps off the page. The key to a successful race is before my very eyes! Now how do I do that? I start flipping through the worn pages looking for the answer. In my search, I find a song.
1 A psalm of David. LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
7 Answer me quickly, LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD, for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
11 For your name's sake, LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
I meditate on what I’ve discovered then close my Bible. Prayers are awesome but I need to bury myself in the Lord. God wants all of me not just my words. He’s waiting to pour His very strength into me and promises to do so much more.
Oh, Jesus, thank you. Like David, Lord, I pray You answer me quickly! I have a long race to run.
What about you?