I like running. Actually, let me rephrase that: I like the benefits of running. I don’t enjoy the actual act of running. It’s tiring. My body aches. My knees throb. I sweat like a horse. There is really nothing fun about it, now that I think about it.
But, I do enjoy the benefits of running: increased endurance, stronger heart, better breathing, reduced stress, lower body weight. (Notice I didn’t say “low” body weight.) Yes, the benefits are good, but the work is not fun.
When I think of what it takes to overcome panic attacks and crippling fear, I think of running a race:
- A lot of work is required.
- You have to push yourself.
- It takes endurance.
- You can’t give up.
- There is a finish line.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1b).
To run this race, you need to “throw off everything that hinders you.” When it comes to jogging, I wouldn’t go out there in a three-piece suit. I wear my jogging clothes and running shoes. In this race against fear, do you “clothe” yourself with mental hindrances like doubt and hopelessness, or physical hindrances like too much caffeine or poor eating habits?
Throw off everything that hinders you–even sin. According to the Bible, sin can entangle you when you run this race for peace. But, if you confess your sin, God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sin (1 John 1:9). Don’t let sin entangle you. With Jesus at your side, you can be free to run this race.
I believe with all of my heart that a finishing line of peace awaits everyone who runs this race. Not just in death, but also in this life. It will take some work. You will have to push yourself. You will need endurance. You can’t give up. And most of all, you’ve got to focus on the Goal.
Prayer: Father, give me the strength and endurance I need to run this race. Encourage me with your promises and your presence. Strengthen me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Let’s run this race together.