Today, we conclude our Run the Race series with a look at remaining steadfast even when we want to throw in the towel.

As a quick recap, we discovered the importance of running the race to completion – not stopping until God called us heavenward. The following week (last week), we looked at running to win – when you run, go for the gold!

Today, we look at the author of Hebrews' charge to remain steadfast in our pursuit of running our race to completion.

Growing up, the world seemed huge. I loved going to the airport as a kid. My parents would take me down to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) back when you didn’t have to go through a TSA pat-down, screening, or take your shoes off.

I would love to sit and watch the planes take off and land for hours. I would create stories of passengers heading to far-off lands only to return to the waiting arms of friends and family.

One day, I hoped that would be me. I guess that’s where my love of travel first began.

Fast forward thirty years, and I have traveled to over 25 countries and all but two continents – mostly in the service of missions.

What we see as separate, unconnected things in our lives, God weaves them together to create our journey of life.

When I was seventeen years old, I traveled with a Christian music singing group called the Continental Singers as a sound engineer. We were gone all summer long.

During that year, I saw most of the United States and Canada from the bus seat and met some amazing people along the way. We also traveled to the Netherlands and Kenya in Africa.

While in Kenya, we stayed at a lodge on a safari game reserve. This lodge was amazing. It was a five-star resort in the middle of the Masai Mara region.

Fast forward seven years, and my boss and I are comparing places we have been in life when I share about my Masai Mara game lodge. I stayed at it when I was seventeen.

He shares… I know that lodge well; I helped build it.

I didn’t know what I was going to be doing one year from my travels, let alone seven, but God had already connected the dots on my life’s journey to bring us together – I just had to be patient and follow His leading.

The author writes in Hebrews 10:36,

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

This verse has become my life verse so-to-speak. The waiting game is tough – no one likes to wait. We don’t like to wait in lines at the market, the airport, or at Disneyland.

However, sometimes waiting is what is required of us.

Are you waiting for something right now?

You could be waiting to hear if you got that new job you applied for or waiting to hear from a judge about a key decision that will change your life forever.

Or…you could be waiting to hear about those test results. Our journeys are all different, and what you are waiting for is different than what I am waiting to hear about.

The Lord wants us to remember that He sees the beginning from the end, and each checkpoint along our journey is measured for us that will help us achieve our best.

Recently, I came across a new adventure show titled Race to the Center of the Earth from National Geographic. If you love extreme sports or The Amazing Race, then you will love this show.

Four teams set out from distant parts of the earth to compete for 1 million dollars. You had to navigate via waypoints using a GPS using all forms of travel, from walking to horseback to biking to planes, trains, and automobiles.

Every day based on how fast (or slow) you completed the leg, you received points or had them deducted.

Like this new show, our lives have waypoints that we typically hit – birth, education, career, maybe marriage, maybe kids, and eventually death. However, along this journey, your waypoints might look way different.

Your waypoints might include – multiple career opportunities, marriage-divorce-marriage again or unable to have kids, or cancer or some other disease.

God made us all different, and our journeys have similar waypoints, but they are not the same. As we discussed in week one of this series – there is no carbon copy of you. You are 100% unique – just the way God made you!

Circling back to our verse for this week,

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

What holding pattern do you find yourself in right now?

What unsettledness in your spirit is not settling?

I find myself in a time of unsettledness right now. I feel or sense a change is coming, but I don’t know in what direction or in what area. I am not always good at waiting.

If I rush ahead of God, it doesn’t go well. If I’m too slow, I miss the opportunity. The perfect balance of waiting and action is required.

My mom reminds me that during our waiting periods, it could be that whatever is waiting for us isn’t quite ready yet, and we have to be patient.

Are you good at waiting?

How’s your patience level? Are you riding the redline every day?

At the end of Hebrews 10:36, there is a promise. I view this promise in two ways. First, when we run our race to completion and are called heavenward, we will see him face-to-face, and he will tell us well done, good and faithful servant.

Second, I see that when we wait on God’s timing instead of shoehorning God into our plans, He delivers on His promise of provision that exceeds my imagination.

Not every part of our journey has a happy ending. We are not always cured of cancer. We don’t always find the spouse we have been searching for, or we don’t land our dream job.

Those can all be painful for us because those were our plans. It doesn’t mean we don’t stop praying for them, or more importantly, we don’t stop asking for them. God hears our prayers, but sometimes God needs to re-direct our prayers to match His will for our lives, and that might take longer than we expect.

Life’s race is filled with excitement – hills, valleys, triumphs, and adversity, and the great people you meet along the way.

We need to:

  1. Run the Race to Completion
  2. Run to Win – Do Our Best, Excellence Matters, Perfection Does Not
  3. Be Patient on the Journey – It’s an Ultra-Marathon, not a Sprint

Application

Take a few minutes today to remember your life’s journey to this point; write a few of the significant waypoints down.

If you are in the patient endurance part of your journey where you are waiting for something, ask God to give you an extra amount of patience during this time and to give you extra peace in your spirit to endurance the ups and downs so that you can receive all the God has planned for you.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for new promises each morning and for the promises You have for us when we wait patiently for Your best. Give us peace, strength, and courage to wait for Your best instead of trying to push forward with our plans. Thank you for Your love, grace, mercy, and Your forgiveness. Amen!


Listen On…

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About

Hi, I'm Dave Anthold. I am a small group leader, short-term missionary, and visual storyteller. You can read my story here.

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