What is your story? Is there an experience that has impacted your life in the distant past or that you are currently going through? Have you ever asked yourself or God what the purpose is for it as you are going through trials? It is likely that many of the great characters throughout the scriptures had the same thoughts. We read about them in Hebrews chapter 11, Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gedeon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel, the prophets, and many many more.

Where are they now? Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”. I am encouraged to know that as I am in this race called FAITH that I am surrounded by these great witnesses. When looking at the spectators at any sporting event they do not sit solemnly by with their hands folded in their laps. They are cheering and jumping up out of their seats! They have the perspective of the entire racetrack that we who are running the race cannot see. 

Our witnesses in this race called FAITH are not merely spectators but have run the race themselves. They have felt the anxiety at the starting gate, the adrenaline as the wind hit their face, the sound of competitors at their heels, the pain and fatigue of their strength waning, and the victory of sprinting across the finish line. But now as they eat their popcorn and wave their flags their purpose is to cheer on those of us running the race. As we run the race we need to keep this ultimate purpose in mind. Will we be witnesses that kept the faith or will we be defeated and miss the blessing? Will we be left to clean up the bleachers or manure out the horse stalls after the race is done?

As I wait for the insurance company to approve the trans-esophogeal echocardiogram only to have to wait again for the approval for the surgery I am feeling like the horse in the starting gate. I just want to hear that bell ring and the clacking of the gate opening. It’s not that I am excited about undergoing the procedure, surgery, pain, and recovery. I just want to get this behind me and hopefully feel better than I ever have in my life. I understand now that any race does not actually begin at the starting gate. It starts at the gym and in the months of training leading up to that race. It starts in the mind of the participant as they are poised at the starting line envisioning the track and obstacles ahead of them.

I have always read, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,” and wondered what that sin was. I’ve heard sermons that said it is different for each person and that may be true but the next half of the verse says, “and let us run with PATIENCE the race that is set before us.” There may be other sins that beset me but I know that the sin that hinders me the most is IMPATIENCE! 

My son Sean who died in 2012 used to love to sing the scripture song Isaiah 40:31 and it is on his memorial marker. Isaiah 40:28 – 31 says Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” . Why does that little 4 letter word, WAIT, have to be so hard? Because it has such great rewards: POWER, STRENGTH, WINGS LIKE EAGLES!

Now as I wait patiently for God’s perfect timing in all things I am going to keep my eyes on Jesus, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2. I could keep going into Chapter 12 writing as I am meditating on it but I would have to turn that into a book. Who knows? Maybe I will add that to my writing project list.

This will be me running towards the finish line.

Ask yourself, what is your story? Are you running the race now? Are you preparing for the race? If you have run a race through a particular trial, who are you going to cheer on? I have had several people reach out to me to say that they or someone they love has had the same or a similar surgery and given me encouragement, prayers, and advice. Whether we are in training through our daily devotions, poised at the starting gate waiting for God to unfold his plan for ys, shoulder to shoulder with others running the race through fiery trials, wearily parading in victory with our arms held high having triumphed through hard times, or cheering with the crowd of all who have gone before us, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith”. We need to encourage one another as well. That is the goal for everything we go through in this life.

Every post that I write I am writing for myself and not just my readers. Every day I go back and read something I have written to be reminded of the things that God has revealed to me. I may not have my grammar correct all of the time but I have been told that I have a gift to be able to write from my heart and I want to share that gift with each of my readers. Even if no one sees a word but me rereading it this blog has been a blessing to me. I hope someday after I have recovered from my surgery and am preparing to run my first marathon that I can read this and be reminded of all that God has brought me through, to keep my eyes on Jesus, to cheer on those running with me, to ask him for the strength to mount up with wings like an eagle, and to not forget to cheer on those who come after me.

Till then…

Jesus’ truly,

Fearless

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