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. Heb. 12:1
This week after all the joy of having my parents here for Christmas and all the fun, I came back to the reality of life in a strange land. One day in particular I was feeling pretty down. I was walking to the bus stop and the sky was gray, it was raining, the snow was all melting, I was wet and cold and feeling sorrowful over the separation from my family and friends. Then God whispered to me “look, there is a great cloud of witnesses around you calling to you to just hold on.”
The thought was so powerful that I almost stopped right there on the steps to the bus platform and looked around to see them. All those faithful men and women who have traveled this road before me, those who have fought the fight and finished the race are watching. What a GOOD GOD that I serve to provide just the right encouragement when I need it! The melancholy I was feeling wasn’t gone but my focus was changed. I am in the middle of a battle for the souls of men and women and battles require sacrifice and determination. What a powerful reminder that this isn’t a short sprint to the finish line on a smooth track but an endurance race over many miles of rough terrain. And I am not alone. Along the race course there are fans cheering me on, there are saints and angels watching from heaven, there are saints on earth praying for me and providing encouragement and there is my Lord, taking my hand and reminding me that in the end, it will be worth it all.