Bible Verse: “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 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 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. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.” Hebrews 12:1-4
Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Isaiah 43:1-2
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint!” As of the time of this writing, the current world record for the 100-metre sprint is 9.58 seconds, held by Usain Bolt, the “Fastest Man on Earth.” 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 9 seconds. That’s fast too! These are two very different events: two different skill sets, body types, training regimens, preparations, and strategies.
I hope you know the feeling of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior and making the decision to love and live for Him. I remember the day I accepted Jesus like it was yesterday: May 6, 2001. I was at one of the lowest points of my life. I grew up in religion and thought I had it all figured out. Then I got to the end of myself. That’s when God spoke to me. It was time to surrender my life and begin living for Jesus and not for me.
I came out of the blocks like Usain Bolt. I was on fire and would tell anyone I could about what happened. I poured over my Bible, got involved in church, learned how to pray, and leaned into God like Usain Bolt leaning for the finish line.
Over time, I realized that my walk with Jesus is a marathon and not a sprint. The fire didn’t go out, but life happens. Storms come, distractions are inevitable, and sometimes you “hit the wall,” as marathoners say.
Marathoners often experience what is known as “hitting the wall” around the 18–20-mile mark, where their legs feel like concrete, utter fatigue and negativity set in, and they doubt that the race has a finish line.
Life can feel like this for many of us. The pressures of everyday life—inflation and finances, family, children, work, fatigue, and more—set in, and we hit the wall. We forget the thrill of blasting out of the gates as a new Christian. We let other priorities get in the way of our time with God and His Word. We stop pressing in.
If we’re tired, let’s take a breath; remember, we are not alone. God will help us if we keep pressing into Him and let Him press into us. There is a finish line unlike any other which we’ll reach once we’re standing in God’s presence. Hebrews 12:1-4 encourages us to throw off the weights and sins that hold us back, “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (v.1-2).
So, don’t get discouraged when your run becomes a shamble and you hit the wall. God knows exactly where you are in your journey; He knows the next steps, and He’s waiting for you to press into Him so He can run the race with you. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Prayer: Father, please forgive me if I have sinned against You, and if I have let the cares of this world stand in my way of living for you.
Reflection: Spend time reflecting on what you were like when you first gave your life to Christ. What steps might you take to recapture some of those days?
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