Endurance – ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.
In Hebrews 12, we are called to run with endurance the race that is set before us. So right now—in the middle of a worldwide crisis—what does it look like to endure? How do we become immune to trauma, or wounds, or fatigue?
Psalm 23 says, “He will lead me in paths of righteousness.” My husband recently shared that in Hebrew, the word picture for ‘paths of righteousness’ looks like the horizontal rings you see surrounding a hill in a pasture. Those rings come from where the shepherd leads his flock in circles around the hill, steadily climbing and providing for the nourishment and needs of his sheep.
Sheep can’t climb the way goats can; if they tried to go straight up a hill, they wouldn’t eat because they were so focused on the climb. They would tire out before they ever got to the top because they don’t have the stamina.
But when the sheep focus on the shepherd—because he knows what’s best for them and the paths they need to take—they end up with an abundance of provision, and they reach the top without the struggle. They end the race well-fed, nourished, and energized because they trusted in their shepherd.
It’s hard to keep pushing forward when we can’t see our progress. When every day there’s a new scary story on the news, and it feels like we still have so far to go.
“How will we ever reach the top? How will we ever get out of this pit?”
The answer is: We endure.
We shift our focus to Jesus, trusting that He will provide everything we need and lead us each step of the way, even when the path doesn’t look like the one we imagined. We remember Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Job, Esther, Ruth, David, and all of those who have endured before us. Those who trusted their Shepherd even when they didn’t know where He was leading them.
So don’t tap out. Don’t stop moving. This crisis is a tragedy, but it is also a call to action. Now is the time to pick up our cross and follow the One who never stops short. We have a race to finish.
So keep your eyes on your Shepherd, and keep running.