Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us . . .”
This has been a few strange weeks. COVID-19 has been making its way through numerous countries and has finally invaded our neighborhoods. Little by little the regular rhythm of our life has been disrupted as our leaders have sought to protect us.
Playing and Announcing to Empty Bleachers
One of the first changes occurred last week when all fans were banned from sporting events. Upon hearing the news, Dad, who announces the women’s college basketball games at our local university, called the administrator to verify that he would no longer be needed. Much to his surprise he was asked to announce as usual. How strange! The game would be played and announced with the bleachers empty. It must have been very hard for the players to play well without the cheers of friends and family. Not to mention how hard it would be to announce to no one!
It’s always easier to persevere when there are people around encouraging you. Even in life we need support and reassurance.
Surrounded by a Heavenly Crowd of Cheering Witnesses
The writer of Hebrews tells us, “ . . . we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.” There are many who have walked the walk of faith before us. Their lives lend support and testify to us of the importance of continuing on when life gets tough. I can almost hear them even now cheering us to keep on.
Our world has been turned upside down by all we are facing. Our Abigail, a senior in high school, wonders if all the excitement of her final year – the prom, senior trips, and graduation – will be suspended or cancelled. Those with large life events such as weddings and funerals wonder how to move forward. Disappointment and fear can cause a loss of faith. But the crowds from heaven testify, “Don’t give up! God was faithful to us. He has everything under control and will supply all your needs!”
God’s Team is the Winning Team
We are now playing a portion of the game of life in troubling times. The future is uncertain and we can’t see the end. But we are not competing in front of empty bleachers. Heaven is full of faithful fans who have lived through even harder times than these without losing faith. Their lives encourage us to trust God despite our circumstances. So throw off everything that inhibits you, fix your eyes on Jesus, and persevere. And if you listen carefully you might hear the heavenly crowd of cheering witnesses urging you on because they know God’s team is the winning team.