When I held my newborn boy in my arms, I had no idea what awaited me. We enjoyed a Hallmark movie moment when my screaming, kicking boy quieted and stared at me as I crooned “Jesus Loves Me” into his ear. At that moment, I didn’t know trouble would begin just 12 months later.
At one year old, Andres started a cycle of diarrhea and vomiting that would last 3 weeks, followed by 2 weeks of wellness. (Sorry to share too much information!) Six months later, with a tearstained face I carried a listless, unresponsive baby into the hospital.
Almost miraculously, he responded to treatment, and soon I was chasing him with an IV pole so the needle wouldn’t rip out as he ran around the hospital. We discovered he had a milk allergy, and for 6 months all our problems were solved.
Until he started coughing at age 2.
We rushed back to the hospital when he began to cough nonstop. Literally. Like 20 times a minute. That began a years-long endurance race that included nebulizers, inhalers, doctor visits, sleepless nights, tests, and an emergency room visit. I can’t count the number of total strangers who stopped me to ask, “Ma’am. Is your little boy okay?”
Doctors said he had asthma. Then they said they didn’t know. Mysteriously, my son stopped coughing at age 12.
Some nights it felt like parenting had turned into an endurance marathon.
But Jesus made all the difference in my race.
When we struggle to endure, the author and finisher of our faith stands at the finish line cheering us on.
What race are you running, my friend?
Maybe like me, you’re rushing a child to the emergency room. Or worrying about your college student’s choices. Or trying to lose weight or get a new job. You might feel too discouraged to take the next step in that impossible dream you know God called you to, because you’re just not seeing the fruit.
Remember Jesus. Consider Jesus. Fix your thoughts on Jesus.
Jesus has run this race before us, and He transforms our endurance marathon into a road to glory.
I know the road you’re on does not feel glorious. (Mine doesn’t either.)
You may not be feeling the glory right now, but the book of Hebrews has 4 encouragements for our race:
Remember You Are Not Alone
“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)
Jesus is with us every step of the way. Because He has suffered the trials and pain of our world, He knows how we feel.
Draw Near to God
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Mercy and grace are available to us always. What do you need God’s forgiveness for today? What do you need His help with right now? Let’s draw near to confess our sins and ask Him for help.
Hold on to Hope
We have the hope of God’s help today and the hope of glory in the future. Our hope is based on God’s faithfulness. He has not failed us yet, and He never will. What promise can you put your hope in today?
Fix your eyes on Jesus
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1b,2)
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, He transforms our path. He strengthens us. He renews hope and joy.
Friend, let’s stay in the race with our eyes on Jesus. Today my 21-year-old son is preparing to graduate college, hoping to serve in the Peace Corps before he applies for law school. Now I can see the fruit of my marathon race.
And no matter what race you’re running, I’m sure you will too.
NOTE: If you’d like to learn more about Jesus in the book of Hebrews, I wrote a 9-day study, Fixing our Eyes on Jesus. I’ll send it to you free if you pre-order my book, More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times before February 26th. To pre-order, click on the image below:
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