Hebrews 10:23, 35-36
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
35 -36 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
It is really easy to read this blog and stand confident in God’s promise to heal you from whatever is afflicting you. It is another thing to hold on the that hope without wavering on the days when you feel poorly, or the moments when you receive a bad report, or the nights when fear whispers doubts in your ear. I think that the writer of Hebrews knew the struggle was real. He knew that there would be times, more often than not, that we would have to cling to this hope with all that is in us.
It takes endurance to hold onto this hope. This speaks to me of running a race. I run quite a bit....I will stop short of saying that I am a runner because I am terribly slow and need to lose a few pounds to get to athlete status, but I run nonetheless. I have participated in many races - several 5k’s, 10k’s, and even 15k’s and a couple of half marathons. One thing I have learned, and I believe any amateur or professional runner will agree with me, is that most of running is mental. OK, so training and conditioning are a huge part of it, too, but truthfully, having a “can do” attitude is well more than half the battle. It never ceases to amaze me how I can outrun people who are in way better shape than I am, simply because I know I can do it, and they think they can’t!
There are those times that I run so slowly, a person can fast walk next to me and nearly keep up, but I’m still running. I am putting one foot in front of the other with determination and dedication. Then there are times what I run intervals, pushing myself at the fastest pace I can handle without passing out, (admittedly, it’s not that fast, but for me, it’s what I can do, so I do it!) At these moments, I time myself, striving to do my best time, counting down the seconds until I can slow down. Often times at around 30 seconds left in my interval, I will get to the point that I just cannot go any longer. At these times my mantra becomes, “I can do anything for 30 seconds!” And I’m right! OK, so maybe not anything. But the point is that I can do more than I think I can.
This is endurance. Sometimes it requires just plodding along, putting one foot in front of the other. Other times it demands that we push ourselves beyond what we can handle, trusting the Lord to do it for us.
The first half marathon I ran was the most difficult physical experience of my life. Having birthed three children and suffered breast cancer, that is saying something! It was 46 degrees and raining the entirety of the more than 2 and 1/2 hours I ran. My legs seized up and I honestly didn’t think I would be able to finish. I couldn’t walk, let alone run. But my husband and children were waiting at the finish line along with a medal that was my reward for completing the grueling task. I didn’t have a choice but to finish, so I kept going. When I crossed the finish line, I burst into tears as they gave me my medal and my family embraced me. It was a most rewarding experience! The endurance that had sustained me for almost three hours got me to the end, and delivered a great reward!
Now, when I am tired, sick, despairing, worried, I remember that my hope needs endurance too. And as I hope, I am doing the will of God, which is the greatest reward!
I stand before you in confidence and confess that I have unwavering hope in Your promises to me. I run the race with supernatural endurance, trusting that you will perform Your will in my life. I claim with confidence Your promise of a great reward!