Last night I got to hear a sermon from someone I hope will be a great friend in the future.
When Brenda started in Hebrews 12, I was skeptical because I’ve heard so many people preach and speak from that text so many times. Still, I tuned in because I love Brenda and I know that God really speaks through her, and of course, God did not disappoint. Her sermon was about perseverance and though I’ve heard the topic preached before, her message was so timely. Basically, the most affecting part was when she talked about the marathon she ran a few years ago.
Towards the end of the marathon, around mile 22 she felt tired but happy that the race was almost over. After running for what seemed like a mile, she didn’t see a mile marker. She kept running for what seemed like another mile but there was still no mile marker. Finally, she reached mile 25 and the mile marker was there. She later found out that 23 and 24 had been blown away. She compared miles 23 and 24 to a point we all come to in our Christian race, a point I felt like I was just at a few weeks ago.
It’s the moment when you look around and you no longer know where you’re going. In fact, you start to question if you’re even on the right path. And every weight and sin – for me, anger, insecurity, loneliness, jealousy, pride…the list goes on – start to really become a heavy burden to carry. It’s the moment where, if you don’t persevere and follow in the paths of those who have come before you, you can easily be led astray.
As Brenda said, whatever we latch on to will be our prize in the end. So when we grab hold of those other things – doubt, rage and the like – those things are what we end up with. If we latch on to pride, that’s what we’re left with. If we latch on to relationships or money or success, that’s what we’ll have in the end. But if we grab hold of Jesus, and never let go, eventually he will be our prize.
I’m so thankful to God that I’ve finally reached my 25th mile. This isn’t to say that my race is almost over – I don’t know if it is or not – but just to say that I’m past that time of confusion and wandering for now. Brenda’s message was about being aware of where you’re at in your faith journey. Instead of hiding from it or lying about it, talk to someone about it and start with God. When I was in a tough spot, it took a while for me to bring that before God. I was ashamed and honestly, I thought I could deal with it myself. But when I did, my outlook changed drastically. Now, I’m at a really good point. And I’m really excited to continue the race.
I feel like I’m re-preaching her sermon (but not as well) to the internet and I don’t mean to do that. I just found it really enlightening and I know a lot of people in the congregation were really affected by those words. I was one of them.