Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. Hebrews 12:1-3
I like to run. There is something about pounding pavement that produces peace and alleviates stress.
In February, Joe and I signed up to run a 5K together. Joe is my nine year old son. We began training two months before the race. At first, he was not the greatest running buddy. He would get discouraged and say, "I can't do this, it is too hard."
I would then encourage him and explain to him that it is important to talk to yourself when you run. You have to encourage yourself and talk to your body. Tell yourself, "I can do this. I am almost there, just a little more. I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me."
I would encourage him too, I would tell him, "You can do this. We are almost there. Come on, you can do it! Keep going!"
Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls. For he has no one to help him up....Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12
Joe learned to encourage himself, I would encourage him, and the Lord also encouraged him through His word. If he had been running by himself, he may have quit. But the Lord gave him a running buddy to encourage him.
By the end of our training, he became my encourager! When I would lag behind, he would say, "Come on Mom, you are almost there. You can do it! It is just around the corner."
In April, we ran the 5K together. I was so proud of him. He actually beat me! Here is a picture of us.
He was a great running buddy.
I am still running, but he isn't running with me right now. I miss my running buddy. It is empowering to have someone to cheer you on and encourage you.
However, we all have a running buddy that will encourage us as we run the race that is set before us. We all have a race to run, and we all have the greatest running buddy ever, Jesus. Hebrews 12 instructs us to look to Jesus and "consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself". We are to consider what Jesus endured so that we don't become weary and discouraged as we run our race.
As we run and aim toward the finish line of the plan and purpose of Christ, there will be times when we are excited about the race. However, there will also be times when we need encouragement to continue on in our race.
There may be times when we need to encourage ourselves just as Joe needed to encourage himself to keep going. We need to "talk" to ourselves and encourage ourselves.
However, God knows when you need a flesh and blood person in your life to encourage you and He will bring you running buddies. Ask Him.
A three fold cord is not easily broken. When we look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we are sure to finish our race. He is the third strand in the cord, the strength the helps us endure and holds us strong.
Remember, in whatever race you are running, you have the best running buddy. As my friend, Crystal, once shared with me, "You have Jesus in tennis shoes running right beside you!" There is no greater running partner! Run your race. You can do it! You are almost there! Just keep going!