Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Anyone that has run a marathon can attest to how difficult the race is. Well, at the 1968 Olympic Games which took place in Mexico City featured a true story of grit and determination.
Hours behind the runner in front of him, the last marathoner finally entered Olympic stadium. By that time, the drama of the day’s event was almost over and most of the spectators had gone home. But the story of Tanzanian marathoner John Stephen Akwari was still being played out. Limping into the arena, Akwari grimaced with every step, his knee bleeding and bandaged from an earlier fall. His ragged appearance immediately caught the attention of the remaining crowd, who cheered him on to the finish line.
Why did he stay in the race? What made him endure his injuries to the end? When asked these questions later, he replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles away to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it!'”
We may be exhausted, limping, or wounded right now from an earlier fall. We may feel like there’s is no way we can go on to the end. But there are witnesses cheering us on…and God didn’t send us this far just to begin — He brought us here to run the whole race! So, let’s get up! Brush off the dirt and keep going! He will give us the strength!