Today, I am in the book of Hebrews 12:1-2. If you have your Bible, go ahead and open it up and grab your highlighter or pen and get ready to mark it up. It says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
There are so many things that we can take away from these verses, but I especially love the first part of the verse where it says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…”
Hmmmm. Witnesses? This verse in Hebrews is encouraging us, knowing there are witnesses (written about in Hebrews 11) who have run this race before us and finished well. But we know there are other witnesses whose presence we can note too… those who witness how we walk out our daily life.
Have your kids ever embarrassed you? That’s when you know the “witnesses” are there! Several years ago, I had the kids at the grocery store when a quarrel broke out in the ranks. Things got ugly. I wanted to yell, “Stop it!”, and not just because I didn’t want them fighting with each other! At the moment, I was intensely aware that people were watching us. Of course, this was the day the children were wearing their bright homeschool co-op t-shirts. Things got ugly. Let’s just say there was a call for a “cleanup on aisle 7.”
I remember coming home saying rather angrily to my husband, “I am never letting our children wear their homeschool t-shirts in public again!” Ugh. I was ready to stop my race right then.
People will say that it doesn’t matter what others think—but I’ve come to believe that I’m an ambassador for the things I believe in. My life speaks for me. If I claim to love my husband but treat him poorly, do I really love him? If I claim to follow Jesus but don’t know what His Word says do I really follow Him? My actions speak louder than my words… and knowing this has made me aware that I am surrounded by “witnesses.” I wonder, as Christian women, are we keenly aware of how people are watching us? They are watching the way we treat the cashier, how we tip the waiter, the way we drive, how we talk to our children. These “witnesses” are watching how we love, honor, and respect our husbands.
How we run our race is as important as the fact that we are in the race at all.
The apostle Paul reminds us of that. He is saying “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely.” Imagine trying to run a race and having your feet tangled up with rope or wires. Imagine trying to run that race and not being able to because you are entangled with rope. That’s what sin in our lives does. It trips us up. It keeps us from running our race with perseverance—but even worse, it hinders others.
That is why we are reminded to let the sin go, to throw it down. Today, spend a few minutes thinking about that. What are the things that are tripping you up? Have they slowed your pace? What do you plan to do to deal with them?
Unresolved sin has serious consequences. We cannot just simply ignore it. We are commanded to in Scripture to run the race with perseverance and to throw everything off that hinders us. We can’t throw it off if we don’t know that it’s entangling us. If we want to run our race with perseverance, we need to be willing to see it and make a plan to get rid of it.
So, do that today, busy mom. Fix your eyes upon Jesus. Allow His Spirit to show you what might be entangling you.
Whenever I read the phrase “fix your eyes on Jesus,” I picture myself running my race with all these little kids following me. (Remember this is the dream of a busy mom of seven.) Often in my dreams I’m running while pushing a stroller or I carrying a baby in my arms. Recently, it’s been a grandbaby in my arms and kids running next to me. (Seasons change.)
I love this image of being able to just fix my eyes upon Jesus who is the author and perfecter of my faith; He is the reason I want to raise my kids to love and know the peace that comes from running with Jesus. At the end of the day, those “witnesses” are going to say or think something about the way we live.
When people talk about me, I want them to say, “She had something special.” Not because it was me, but because it was Jesus shining through me. He’s the one who helps us run with perseverance. He’s the one who makes the race even worth running.
Let’s give them something “good” to talk about,