In Hebrews chapter 12 of the Bible, we read the description of an inspiring scene:
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:1-3 The Message)
Picture the race we’re running with Jesus. The narrow way is lined with all sorts of people who have already finished and cheer us on! They’re not just enthusiastic observers, they ran the race before we did and finished. They’ve been where we are and have persevered. They are role models for us, people who dealt with this frustrating battle with sinful nature, doubt, disappointment, fatigue and more. I like the way The Message puts it when talking about the chief role model, about learning from Jesus and how he ran the race, “study how he did it….go over that story again, item by item…” I think it also helps to remember the heroes of faith told about in the Bible and how they lived, as well. That’s why God wanted us to know about them in His word, right? There’s so much to be learned from the stories of their lives. I want to think about some of them in the next few posts and how they dealt with disappointment.
Everyone faces disappointment. I guess it can be a weight that slows us down in our race if we dwell on it, push it down inside, or let it pile up with other disappointments until they all blend together turning into bitterness and resentment.
Some disappointments from the past year or so, maybe longer, have begun to prick the inside of my heart, showing me that I haven’t really dealt with them or thrown them off so that I can run better. I’d much rather sprint lightly with airy freedom than slog along with heavy feet. Time to study up on some faith heroes. Care to join me? Stay tuned.