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16th February: The Stands are Full

With all these witnesses to faith around us like a cloud, we must run with resolution the race for which we are entered. Hebrews 12:1 (NEB)

Today you must run another lap in the race of life. Maybe you're tired and dreading to run. Or perhaps you are discouraged or depressed and wonder how you can ever manage to put one foot in front of the other. Or perhaps you feel that you are running in a dry desert, alone, where no one cares or sees, unheralded and unsung.

Well, it's not like that. Actually you are running in a great stadium. The stands are filled to capacity with thousands of onlookers (a cloud of witnesses); and believe it or not, they are all cheering for you.

Take a quiet look at some in the stands -- mean and women who have run before, with success, because of their faith. There's Moses -- remember the Red Sea, and Abraham -- remember Isaac and the ram. And there's Joseph -- remember the prison, and Rahab -- the wall, and David -- Goliath, and Daniel -- the lions, and Paul -- the prison, and Luther -- the door, and Livingstone -- Africa, and Elliot -- the Aucas.

Look carefully, you may see some from your family, your church or your medical colleagues there. You are not running alone, in a desert or a vacuum.

Finally, look carefully again. In a special place, apart from all the other thousands, sits One who has also run before and conquered. In his hands are nailprints. His brow is scarred. He was tested in all points like you, but never sinned. He endured the cross and despised the shame. he is vitally interested in you and your race. He is encouraging you on.

So think of him...; that will help you not to lose heart and grow faint (Heb 12:3).

Well I know your trouble, O my servant true,
You are very weary, I was weary too;
But this toil shall make you someday all mine own,
And the end of sorrow shall be near my throne.
J M Neale

Further reading: Heb 11:1-12:3. Phil 3:12-14.


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