A Small Victory
Perhaps by now you’ve heard of my victory. My unbelievable victory!
That’s right. All the way up a hill!
Yes, God set my feet in motion that day and showed me I could do things that are hard.
I was sweating and panting…and praising God that he never gives up on me. Indeed, when I set my sights on Jesus, he makes me want to start running and never back down.God sets my mind on a course of victory for the glory of his name, and I want to give Him everything I’ve got. Click To Tweet
I may be in a heap when I cross the finish line. But I will know I have run the race with purpose. I will know that nothing else in this life could have brought me greater joy than simply running the race with Him.
But God has also taught me that I must be willing to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1), or I will stumble and fall.
Oh, how clearly I know this truth of Scripture!
Not just because I have read it in the Bible. But because I have lived it.
Yes, there have been countless times that I have fallen on my face. And at certain points, I have actually wondered,
“Will I ever get back up again?”
“Will God really let me get back in this race?”
“Is victory even possible?”
To me, pride is the nagging hinderance that wants to jump on my back and slow down my progress. It’s a little thing called people-pleasing. I want others to like me, to approve of me, and to think I am a worthy person.
And let me tell you, it is hard to run a race for Jesus when you keep looking to the sidelines to make sure everyone is cheering for you!
Indeed, I find that when I get the most confident in myself, that is when I am most likely to fall.
A Few Embarrassing Examples
For example, one day as I was teaching, I was pretty impressed with myself at the amazing lesson I had just presented. Yet as I walked out of the classroom that day, I realized I had a very large red jello stain on the front of my white shirt.
I’m sure all of the students had been impressed with that amazing sight.
Yes, my appearance has always been an issue of pride to me. Perhaps this is because I had such bad perms as a teenager and I’m trying to make up for that. Nevertheless, God knows he can get my attention there.
Another day I had to get my photo taken. So I got dressed up in my new jeans and fancy leather jacket.
I was pretty confident that things would go well.
And I thought they did.
I even traipsed around the local grocery store in my outfit, full of pride over my new threads. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized the labeling strip imprinted with the letter “L” for Large was still on my fancy, new pants.
It couldn’t get worse, right?
Well, later that day, when I was able to see the proofs of my photos, I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, they are horrible!”
My husband came running in to reassure me they couldn’t be that bad.
But all he could say was, “Oh my gosh, you’re right.”
Thank You Jesus for Loving Me!
These experiences were somewhat painful, I must admit.
However, I love that God has loved me through it all. I love that he has never given up on me . Even when I turned my eyes to others and away from him. Time and again, he has picked me up and said, “I forgive you, my child. You are still worthy…no matter what anyone else thinks.”
How amazing it has been to get to the point in my life where I can say thank you to God for the painful lessons I have learned.
They have brought me back out on the race track with eyes only on Jesus. They have bolstered my faith in him.
Each day it has gotten easier to look away from the crowds and the sin that could so easily entangle me. It’s getting easier to let go of my people pleasing, and just keep my eyes on Him.
Run the Race with Perseverance
With the never-ending loyalty of God’s faithfulness, Jesus Christ stands before me, looking at me with the kindest eyes and calling to me, “Come, run this race.”
With everything in me, I want to shout out, “I will run my hardest for you, Jesus!”
Yes, this is the echo of my heart. Following Jesus is the desire of my life.
And the amazing thing is that none of this comes from me. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit.
So I will run this race–with my eyes set on victory! But I will always remember that it is Jesus who keeps moving my feet forward.
And I have no one to please but him.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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 12:1