Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When Morning Gilds The Skies"1 (Lyrics)
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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)
When I was in high school, I used to enjoy long-distance running. Going around the track twenty times or more gave me moments of solitude and clarity that enabled me to find solutions to some of the problems and issues that I faced as a teenager. Most of the things that burdened me were brought on by my foolish and selfish ways. Running around the sports field gave me the time that I needed to sort things out in my heart and head. It was an effective way of facing my faults and thinking through my thoughts. Usually, when it came to running around the track the last time, I felt much better than I did when I started.
The older that I get, the more that I realize that life itself is a long-distance run. Through the years, I've made more mistakes than I can possibly remember, and I am burdened with a number of regrets. I cannot change the past, nor the route that I have followed, but my faith has endured, so that when I look ahead and think about what's left of this lifetime run, I see Jesus at the finish line. Knowing that He is there encourages me to throw off those past burdens which hinder me and to fix my eyes on Him. That's when I realize that this whole journey through life has but one purpose: to run to Jesus, the perfecter of my faith, and to be welcomed by Him.
I don't know the problems that you are facing or how many burdens that you're carrying in your heart; I don't know the fears that you have or the regrets that weigh you down, but this I do know: you can throw them all off today and lay them down before Jesus. Then you can continue to run this beautiful race that we call life, knowing that at the end, Jesus will still be there, waiting for you.
Question: What is burdening me right now and hindering my enjoyment of life? Am I ready to hand it over to Jesus and let Him cheer me on?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely and fully understand our weaknesses and worries, anxieties and cares. Help us to lay them down before You, as we fix our eyes upon You. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.