“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a coud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us.”
–Hebrews 12:1

Does this verse look familiar? We discussed it two weeks ago, but I wanted to revisit it now. Last weekend my father-in-law and I saw a great movie that reminded me of this verse. The movie was called McFarland USA, and it was about families of poor migrant workers who lived from hand to mouth.

The kids had to move around wherever the crops needed picking. Therefore, they had to leave school when they were needed in the fields. Needless to say, their social lives were practically non-existent, and most of them looked forward to a bleak future. Everything changed when the kids discovered that they could compete as a track team. Before they were able to compete, they had to lay aside all the excess baggage that was stopping them.

In the same way, God wants all of us to run the race of life with victory, but in order to do this, we need to come to Him when we have sins or burdens which seem insurmountable. Just as in a physical race, weights can slow us down or stop us altogether. Therefore, I would like to share some thoughts with you about how you can run life’s race more effectively. I’ll use the acronym CPR.

The letter C stands for Cling. If you have ever been in hot and humid weather, you know exactly what the writer of Hebrews means by “cling”. When you first encounter this sticky summer weather, your clothes tend to cling to you, and you quickly come to hate the feeling. But then as time passes, you learn to live with it and it’s not so bad. We all have pet sins and burdens that work in exactly the same way.

We are uncomfortable with them at first, but then we think, “You know, these really aren’t so bad”. We learn to live with them, instead of getting rid of them. Eventually those sins weigh us down, causing us to live lives of frustration and defeat instead of peace and joy. In order to avoid living in this way, ask God to make you aware of the burdens or sins that encumber you. God will help you to carry His love and joy, and forsake your burdens.

The letter P stands for Persevere. You may have some ongoing challenges in your life. Because of these, you are more aware of the fact that you need God’s strength and power on a minute-by-minute basis. The truth is that all of us need God. In order to consistently draw on his enduring strength, realize that while you can do everything through Him, you can do nothing without Him. Just as you need to breathe in order to live, you need to continually abide in Him in order to champion your burdens or sins through him.

Lastly, R stands for Run. I believe running symbolizes the joy that God wants to give us. Being free of all our weights allows us to live every moment to its fullest, and feel a sense of joy that few have experienced.

Just as traveling further and further away from a radio station creates static, God’s power may appear to dim in the wake of interference in our lives. I urge you not to cling to things that weigh you down. Instead, persevere in ridding your life of those weights. Stay close to God by seeking Him above all things, and whatever you may face, you will find the strength to run life’s race with freedom and joy.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You may also send your donation to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.

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