Run the race with endurance!

This week one of the days, I was reading to our kids a very popular story for bed time, the tortoise and the hare. Everyone knows this story. While I was reading this story I was reminded of this certain incident Jesus had with a fig tree. We read about that in Mark 11.

“On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭11:12-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Here Jesus couldn’t find the fruit in the tree when he needed it and he was disappointed and cursed the tree, even though it was not the season for figs. This tree was full of leaves, but no fruit. This is a clear illustration that God is looking for good results and fruits no matter what season you are in.

In the story of the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise had all the reasons to quit the race in between. He is carrying a heavy load in his back that makes him slow; just like how the hare ate and rested in Mrs Maypole’s garden, the tortoise may also needed rest, he may have been hungry. Unlike the hare, he didn’t have so many fans cheering for him. The hare in the story even paused to sign autographs😀. But the tortoise, he didn’t stop his race, he moved with a steady pace, looking ahead to the goal and prize that is waiting for him. He was not distracted by anything but he was right on his mission.

Apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12, we are also in a very important 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

This passage talks about the importance of running our Christian race with endurance. No matter how hard it gets, or how may excuses you have or whatever season you are in don’t look back or stop; don’t yield to temptations. but run and run looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Paul explains how he is running this race in Philippians chapter 3.

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

How can we do this ? Paul talks about a divine special provision in the next chapter.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus Christ authored this race, He ran and finished this race before us; and now He strengthens us to do the same. So how can we say any excuse?

We all do not have much time. Jesus Christ is coming soon. For people who think they have a whole lot of life ahead of them this COVID pandemic has been a good reminder how frail we all are. Just like those seeds which fell on the thorny places the good seeds that should produce good fruits are being choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and the fruit does not mature.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬
We are so busy with the worries of this world, cares of this life, trying to make a name for ourselves, achieving everything we want. And this is making us tired and weak by the end of day. We are full of excuses before God and we keep on postponing Godly affairs, prayer, meditating on His word and serving Him!. We take His grace and blessings for granted. And we often forget that we are in the middle of this very important race, which decides our eternity!.

In season or out of season, we have to bear fruits for God. Every season in our life has a God purpose and that is bring glory to God. In sickness and health, in mountains and valleys, in riches and poverty no matter how many excuses you have , you are called to bear fruit.

The season that you are in right now, is not an excuse to sit back and be lazy, but it is a unique opportunity given by God Almighty to glorify Him and to serve Him by producing the fruit that He desires.

This verse from the book of Jeremiah is very encouraging.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17:7-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

See here it talks about a man who trust in the Lord. He is like a tree which is always green, and it does not cease to bear fruit. In heat he is not afraid, in drought he is not anxious. Because it is planted by the water and its roots go deep into the waters. A person who trust the Lord and walking in continuous fellowship with the Holy Spirit will be like this tree. And no matter whatever season we are in , when the Master comes we will be full of fruits that will please Him. There may be so many excuses, why you are not able to bear fruit!!. But it doesn’t matter. Jesus founded and authored this way and He went through it before us. Now He is offering His HolySpirit and guidance and strength for us to finish this race in the best way possible. Will you trust Him and run this race with endurance. Be wise, be on mission and make best use of the time.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:15-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Salvation and for the presence of Holy Spirit in our lives. Help us to run this race you have called us to run, with endurance. Help us to use our time wisely. Forgive us for the days we wasted. Refresh and revive us again with your Spirit. Give us focus and strength. We trust you Jesus and we need you more than ever. In Jesus name, Amen.

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