“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.
We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” The current world record holder for the 100-meter sprint is Usain Bolt, the “fastest man on earth” with a time of 9.58 seconds. That’s fast! The current world record holder for the marathon (26.2 miles) is Eliud Kipchoge with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds. These are two very different events that require very different skill sets, body types, training regimens, preparation, and strategy.
When we first became a Christian, we came out of the blocks like Usain Bolt. We can’t wait to tell everyone we could about what happened. We poured into our Bibles, got involved in church, learned how to pray, and sought after God like Usain Bolt seeks the finish line.
But over time, we come to realize that our walk with Jesus is a long race. Life happens, storms come, distractions are inevitable, and sometimes you run out of gas. Marathoners call that “hitting the wall. ” This typically happens two-thirds into the race when their legs feel like concrete and feelings of utter fatigue and negativity set in. They wonder if they can make it to the finish line. Things are different from the days as a new Christian when we jumped out starting blocks in a dead sprint, seeking the things of God.
The Christian life is much more a marathon than it is a sprint. God wants us to be endurance runners – the kind of people who will run the whole stretch of our race and finish victorious at the end.
The good news is we don’t run the race alone. God will help us. So when you grow weary and hit the wall, don’t be discouraged. God knows exactly where you’re at in your journey, and He knows the next steps. He wants to run the race with you. The Christian life is more like a marathon than a short sprint. Whether we have a few years left or many in our journey of life, we need the perseverance to press on. Paul says in Philippians 3:14, “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
The good news is Jesus made us lightweight runners. He took the burden of our sins and placed them on himself at the cross. Then he rose from the dead and sat at the right hand of God to pray for us to fight sin and continue in faith throughout the long race that is life.
- What are your big hopes and dreams for the race that God has set out for you in 2022?
- What do you think could be some of the challenges that you will need to persevere with?How can we better exercise our faith and put it into practice?