Confession: I’m not a graceful runner. Even the word “run” might be a bit misleading. I move faster than when I’m walking, but the average poodle and/or enthusiastic toddler would have a good shot at outpacing me.
However, when I start out on a run, I feel like an Olympian. I stand up straight and bend my elbows at just the right place. There’s a stretch of my route that goes along a fairly busy road, and I don’t mind being there. I even feel a bit cool in my sunglasses, earbuds in and feet pounding the pavement.
But historically, I’ve never, ever wanted anyone to see me at the end of a run. Because by that point, my hair is matted with sweat, my face is the color of a raspberry, and my proper posture is long gone. Not the average poodle but the average basset hound could likely beat me. I start out my run with a bit of “Here I am, look at me!” and by the end it has switched to “Have mercy, look away!”
On a recent run, I reached that point. I wanted to hide. Then it seemed I heard a whisper in my heart: People need to see your endurance more than your “perfection.” I almost stopped right there in the middle of the trail because isn’t that true?
People don’t need us to have it all together; they need to see us refuse to quit.
They don’t need to admire our beautiful strides; they need to see that Jesus gets us through our stumbles.
They don’t need to see us go fast; they need to see us be faithful.
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
The hard part about this is we don’t want anyone to see us when we’re struggling. It’s awkward and vulnerable. It feels like we’re letting our guard down. But Jesus Himself modeled this for us, “He endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Hebrews 12:2). The cross was the “end of the run” for Jesus. He hung exposed, wounded, and willingly weak. He could have finished His time on earth with an impressive show, an epic final announcement, proof of His divinity so that the whole world would believe instantly.
But, no, instead He did His greatest work on our behalf not through performance but endurance. This gives me hope because it means to represent Him, I don’t have to look strong all the time. I just need to keep being obedient. It’s okay if I’m sweaty and smelly, weary and unsteady on my feet. I’m never asked by God to impress anyone.
We don’t have to be Olympians running the race of faith, only ordinary humans. God has not asked us to be perfect examples. He’s simply asked us to point to Him and say, “This is why I can keep going.”
Sometimes life is about breathing and lifting, putting one foot in front of the other.
Sometimes life is about lifting our eyes to chase God’s glory up the steepest hills.
Dorina Lazo Gilmore
God, thank You that Jesus shows me what it means to endure. On the days when I grow weary, when I worry I’m not a good enough example, remind me that I have nothing to prove. I’m already loved, and You only ask me to keep taking one step after another toward You. Amen.
We all need to be cheered on sometimes. Who’s at a challenging place in their race of faith right now? Encourage them to keep going with Holley’s new card line Hope for Life’s Hard Moments from DaySpring.
God has not asked us to be perfect examples. He’s simply asked us to point to Him and say, “This is why I can keep going.” -@holleygerth: Click To Tweet