Do you ever get a verse stuck in your head? This happens to me all the time! I’ll read a passage in the Bible, and a phrase or a few sentences will captivate me. They’ll dominate my thinking, and I’ll camp out in that same chapter for days or weeks, just savoring that portion of God’s Word.
This recently happened to me with Hebrews 12. The chapter before, Hebrews 11, is the famous “Hall of Faith,” where we can read about the faith of Old Testament heroes. But Hebrews 12 gives us practical instructions for running our race and living a life of faith.
The writer of Hebrews begins the chapter by talking about Jesus, who was able to endure the cross because His mind was fixed on the enteral. And how the truth of Christ’s actions helps us live our lives full of faith—even in the midst of difficulty. Then the writer talks about the discipline of God and how God is a good father. A good parent disciplines their child, and God always does what’s best.
After all of that, there’s an interesting passage I have been meditating on for a few weeks. I love how Hebrews 12:12-13 reads in The Message:
“So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!”
I love this passage so much, and I think it applies to every area of our lives.
Running Our Race
One of the most amazing things about walking with God is that He entrusts us to help others in their walks with God. No one is called to follow God alone, but we are to do so in the context of a loving community. In that communal space, we can share how we’ve experienced God, what we’ve learned about who He is, and encourage others in their own journeys. I especially love being able to learn from those who are wiser than me, just as I hope to encourage those coming after me.
I’ve also been thinking about these verses in the context of every other area of life. Our faith in God isn’t an isolated event but informs how we live our daily lives. As I’m clearing the path spiritually, I also want to be clearing the path in other areas.
For me, this looks as simple as writing down clear processes and procedures at work so the next person they hire can have a leg up when they start. Or working on building healthy relationships instead of isolating (which is my go-to when things get uncomfortable) so I can encourage the next generation to form healthy relationships. Or working to create a more just world today, knowing that even if we can’t fix anything, we can fix some things for those who come after.
Verses like Hebrews 12:12-13 give me hope, which gives me the momentum to continue moving forward by faith. The lessons we learn, the experiences we have, and the wisdom we’ve been given aren’t just for us, but are meant to be shared with those coming after us. And we pass these things on in little and big ways every day.
A Prayer for Today
Today, I pray that our eyes be opened to the people around us. That the Holy Spirit would highlight the debris in front of us so we can point it out to others. And that He will show us how we can practically smooth the paths for those who come after us—in our families, our workplaces, our friend groups, and our communities. I pray that, by faith, we will continue running our race well, cheering and helping others out as we go.