Heb 12: MSG
1 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.
2 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.
3 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!
4 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed!
5 So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.
While in elementary school there was a walk-a-thon to raise money for a cause, name escapes my memory. I entered it not realising how difficult it would be. If I remember correctly it was twenty-eight miles. It was the longest day of my life until then. Some seemed to have a burst of energy at the very beginning. I tried that and found my strength slowly ebb from me. I finally fell into a stride that I could manage. I will admit I was one of the last walkers to finish it.
So it goes with our Christian life. When we first come to Christ we are so full of joy about our salvation we go out and tell everyone what has happened. During my high school years a man approached me to be his piano player while he held some evangelistic meetings. He had such a great fervor and was accepted by everyone he met. Eventually disappointment came and for reasons that I cannot recall he quit. The next thing I heard about him was a article in the local newspaper that his body had been found in a salt pit with a bullet in his head.
During my life I have encountered many roadblocks, heart aches, sickness, that sometimes I just want to quit everything. Yes, I am no longer in active ministry of being behind a pulpit every Sunday, but, I have not stopped running the race that is set before me. Instead of delivering sermons orally, I have found a place to share my thoughts in the form of writing on a format that was totally foreign to me, a blog.
Those days where I feel like I am defeated all I do is begin to think of all those who I have stood beside, ministered with and to, those who have finished this earthly race. Knowing that one day there will be great reunion and I will see them all again never to say good bye again. Just those thoughts causes me to study harder, write one more blog post and look forward to another day with the blessing of God.
We know that people experience burn out in their professional careers. Many have at least three career changes in their life, compared to the generation before them. The same is true sometimes in our spiritual walk with the Lord, it feels like we are having a burn out. Take courage, it is not burn out, but rather, God directing you to stop along the still waters in the valley where there is fresh nutrition. Your Christian walk cannot be one that goes from mountain top to mountain top. There is sparce water, little to no vegetation for nourishment, and the oxygen gets thinner the higher you go.
As I am writing this a favorite song written by a great Godly women, Dottie Rambo, the words to the chorus I would like to close with.
And He leads me beside still waters
Somewhere in the valley below
And He draws me aside
To be tested and tried
In the valley He restoreth my soul(emphasis mine)