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
Tonight we attended the WNBA conference finals in which our team, the Fever, won a hard fought battle. Nestled in a crowd of 18,000 it was overwhelming to hear the cheers of so many coming as if from one voice. The energy was palpable. The encouragement was constant. It was as though everyone already knew that our team had the victory even though the score remained close to the end.
I could not help but think of this passage from Hebrews. That crowd is minuscule in comparison to those in heaven- those who see clearly the reality of Christ and His accomplished work in the lives of His people. I imagine that they are like that crowd tonight- so excited to watch the action and cheering with all their might.
Sometimes, I get bogged down in this walk of sanctification. As God convicts me of my sin and calls me to holy living, I feel somewhat alone in my own head. Why is it that I always fail in the same area? Why do I have to learn this lesson again and again, Lord? It's as if at times I'm just spinning my wheels deeper into the mud. I remember sweeter times of growth and closeness with the Lord. Why can't I be there now?
As I watched the last seconds of the game unfold, I pictured a different scenerio. I was one of the players on that court and it was the crowd of God's people calling out:
"Monica, God's promises are true!"
"You are God's very own!"
"The victory is ours!"
"Don't give up!"
As the final buzzer rang, the crowd rushed the the floor and the streamers drifted down from the ceiling, I nearly cried. It was not for the victory of the basketball game, but the profound realization that one day my race will end in glory.