Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Example of Jesus
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners,[c] so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Many years ago Susan and I and our daughters were camping in southern Georgia. In that region there was a mountain bike race going on. It had been raining there for several days, so the trails had turned to mud. One evening, we stood near the stream that ran through the campground and watched the cyclists dragging their bikes in—covered from head to toe with mud. The bikes were so caked with a sticky clay-mud mixture that the chains and the spokes and the pedals wouldn’t even turn. They were literally dragging or carrying their bikes.
They went into the stream—bikes and all—to wash off the mud. I asked one of them how in the world they were able to ride those trails. He said that the mud clinging and building up on his bike had made it impossible to ride. He ended up carrying and dragging the bike to finish the race.
The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us also lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” Past sins and guilt that has morphed into shame cling like mud and can so weigh us down that the race becomes trudging, heavy-laden drudgery. Grudges that we have collected over the years become like so much mud, gumming up the spokes and pedals, so that real forward movement becomes nearly impossible.
What weights and sins cling so closely? What weighs you down? What do you need to lay aside, so that you can “run with perseverance the race that is set before” you? The healing and cleansing streams of God’s grace are always waiting for us to wash off “every weight and sin that clings so closely” like so much mud so that we can “run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster