RUNNING YESTERDAY, Matt and I passed by our 97 year old neighbor walking. This man walks at least five days a week. We passed by him in the very beginning of our run and then after 2.5 miles, we passed him again at the end of our run. He had walked maybe 2 football fields in the time we had run 2.5 miles.
Some might say he moves at a snail’s pace, but I thought, “Man he’s doing good! At least he’s out here grinding!” I started to think about football. And I get how a lot of people like the big plays. It’s fun to watch a guy run on a punt return: He. Could. Go. All. The. Way! The long throws for a touchdown are fun to watch, but it’s the “one yard at a time” grind that I appreciate. I see the running back grinding it out to get just a few yards that’s a greater representation of real life.
Oh sure, sometimes you get a big play and instant success, and people will cheer your name, but it’s the grind that really defines us. In my life, I haven’t had many big plays. I’ve taken over ground yard by yard. Its the mundane, day to day, keeping going, don’t quit work that produces the greatest harvest. One of my favorite Scriptures is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians:“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
I think of that old man walking everyday. We’ve talked to him a lot. He walks 2 miles and I imagine it takes him 2 hours. But he’s getting it done, no excuses. He walks slow, but he keeps going through the pain and suffering of his aging and ailing body. He always has a good attitude and he’s always out there walking. The Bible tells us that we have need of endurance,“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:” Hebrews 10:36This was spoken to a scattered group of believers who because of the persecution and affliction from a tyrannical Roman Empire and a zealous Jewish community were wanting to quit running their race.
This is why there’s multiple warnings against apostasy in the letter to the Hebrews. It was a real and present threat. Endurance is more than “just put your head down and grind”. There’s a portion of that sentiment in endurance, but it’s having an adamant mindset that no matter what may come my way, no matter what pain, suffering or affliction I have to go through, no matter how high the climb and how difficult it gets to breath, I’m finishing my race with joy. Just as no one could stop Jesus from going to the cross, and no one could stop Paul from going up to Jerusalem (even though he knew persecution awaited him), no one can stop the one who has this kind of endurance. I see that old man out walking everyday, rain, snow, or fog; he’s walking his 2 miles.
It doesn’t matter how slow you go, one yard at a time is a good, grinding it out pace. Just keep going. You have need of endurance. “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”Matthew 10:22 “By your endurance you will gain your lives.”Luke 21:19 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 “As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5 “Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.” James 1:3-4 AMPC“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, (ENDURE) and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 Don’t mock the small, slow, “just out here grinding” steps. You will get there, just keep moving. You have need of endurance. There’s joy up ahead! #runyourrace
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