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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. - Hebrews 12:1-3
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4:7
I remember first learning memory verses about “fighting the good fight,” “running with perseverance,” and "finishing the race." I thought it was cool that God used something so human to explain life to me. But rarely when I thought of those verses did I apply them to the mundane, everyday chores that face us daily.
Until I was cleaning out the van the other day.
Ok, that probably wasn’t the first time. But it had been awhile since I had thought about perseverance and the idea that it was a holy move. I had decided to clean out the van. My 4 year old and my 1 year old were trying to entertain themselves in the van and the garage while I emptied the vehicle and vacuumed. This may be a quick job for some of you, but I don’t do this very often so 10 minutes quickly became 30 and before I knew it we were easily approaching an hour of this task. Little boy was following me around, crying and holding onto my legs. Big sister was bored and had taken to throwing pretzels at brother, which he would then eat off the dirty garage floor. I just had a few more things to arrange or sweep up and we would be done. It was then that the Holy Spirit spoke to me – “Persevere.. just stick with it. You’re almost done, the kids are fine. You can finish this task!” I knew it was the Holy Spirit because my van was such a mess even Jesus wanted me to get it cleaned up.
But I laughed aloud when I realized I rarely applied these verses to everyday things like cleaning out the van. I guess I usually think of bigger things – marriage, witnessing to a friend, or building a house. Those matters are certainly worth seeing thru. But on a day to day basis, there are plenty of things on which I could use this same encouragement. Honestly I’m generally just not good at following thru. A short list of the worst things for me includes: putting the laundry away, washing the last few dishes, and enforcing a full 30 minutes of piano practice. Interruptions, fussy children, random socks, and frustrated fingers all interrupt my good intentions. And I give up.
But today I’m going to take God’s Word with me into the trenches. I’m going to throw off the sin and fix my eyes on the goodness and joy that God has given me. I’m going to FOCUS and ask the Holy Spirit to help me not grow weary or lose heart. I’m going to quote scripture to a crying baby if I have to, to keep the faith.
After all, these dishes aren’t going to wash themselves.
Lord, sometimes I forget to apply your Word to the simple everyday challenges that face me. Give me strength and focus today that I can rest in your Word and your Truth; that it would empower me; that you would move my mountains and move me to action and victory. Lord I earnestly and honestly pray in your Son’s name, Amen.