You are a runner, running the race of life. It is not a competitive race, but it is a race.
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. (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)
Running requires endurance. Running means pushing on through when you feel like stopping.
1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.
3. lasting quality; duration.
You are a runner, running a race set before you with endurance; therefore, bear hardship.
My son, pain is a part of growing. You have to push through it to get the glory on the other side. Just as Christ endured the cross because He knew better things were on the other side of that sacrifice, so we also are called to endure whatever providences God sends, trusting that He works it for glory.
Myself, God’s providential hand is in whatever circumstances come. Though others might have much more difficult and painful hardships to bear, still I am to mind my own circumstances: bear the noise, bear the irritations, bear the repetition, bear the dailiness of life. Regardless of the severity of the hardships, they are all calls to endure for the joy on the other side.
You are a runner, running a race set before you with endurance; therefore, run with the strength to continue despite fatigue or doubt.
My son, doing the right thing, making the right choice, demands great strength, even when the choice is small and seems insignificant. Never doubt that a choice is so little as to make no difference if you tell the truth or lie, if you steal or return other’s property, if you say something hurtful or something kind. These decisions are never too small to be momentous.
Myself, kindness requires stamina. It requires intention and stretching and endurance to continue taking each step with kindness toward whoever you are speaking with or speaking about. It is the good race; know that it is worth every extra drop of sweat and puff of expended breath.
You are a runner, running a race set before you with endurance; therefore, run with the perseverance to last the long haul.
My son, you are now only in the starting track of the race of your life, if God gives you a life long enough to see your children’s children. One way to get endurance is to stop and think not about what you want now, but about what story you would be proud to tell your children and your grandchildren. Because your life even now will affect those yet unborn.
Myself, the long haul seems to be the child-raising years, but that is only a fraction of the race. These are the qualifying years, the strength-building years. You are coaching your children to take the next lap in the relay and move farther than you. You have many more people beyond your own children you will reach in your life. But your own family is where you start, where you train. Run with a perseverance to finish the entire race well, not a perseverance that marks the finish line as getting all the children grown and employed.