Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1
I imagine something like this: A man is running a hard race. He is in the lead by a hundred feet. He is just a hundred feet from the finish line. He has been running for miles. He sees a friend cheering him on. Suddenly, he stops. He walks to the line of spectators and just sits down in front of them. He gives no explanation except, “I’m done.” He doesn’t finish the race that he started. He doesn’t win. He just quits early.
That is not what God has in mind when He says ‘run with endurance,’ is it? He has in mind a people who finish what they start. The have endurance to the end. The difference between our race and the race that I imagine above is that we don’t always see the finish line. Isn’t that the reason that we are tempted to quit? We don’t see the line. We don’t have any way to tell how far we have come or how far we have to go. So, instead of enduring to the end, we are tempted to quit when we feel like it. We quit early.
I am deeply concerned about how often I see Christians quit early in their races. I see it between people when forgiveness is no longer offered. I see it in churches when a church stops reaching out to its community. I see it in families when loving commitment doesn’t last through the present struggle.
What do we miss out on when we quit early? We miss out on the miracle that God produces through endurance. We miss out on seeing God’s principles bear fruit. We miss out on knowing that God can work even in the most difficult situation. We never see God restore to us what the locusts have eaten. We miss out on being that witness that leads and stubborn sinner to the feet of Jesus.
Let me encourage you today. Don’t quit early. The race is not over until God calls you home. There will be both hills and valleys in your race. Don’t give up because you are in a dark valley. Use the glorious views from the hills to spur you on. If you have a race that is mostly valleys, let the finish line of God’s glory spur you on. God has promised that we will see results if we endure to the end. So, endure. Don’t quit. See God’s hand in your life!
Something to think about,