In these verses from Hebrews, our life is compared to a race. I like how it says, “let us throw off…” To me, this implies that we have a choice. We can choose to carry around burdens every day (which weigh us down) and try to run the race on our own, or we can choose to take our burdens to God and focus on Him.
God gives us free will. He doesn’t force us to love Him or follow Him. Instead, He allows us to make those decisions on our own. When we lay down our own plans and thoughts and focus on the plans and thoughts of God, He will help give us the strength and endurance we need to finish strong. Great athletes respect, listen to, and trust their coaches. They have faith that their coach is giving them instruction with their best interests in mind (to help them became a better player and reach their potential).
God loves us so much that He sacrificed his only Son for us. He made this great sacrifice so that we could spend eternity with Him. Until that day, He desires to be our “Coach.”
He wants to ease our burdens, give us guidance, and encourage us along the way. The enemy loves to place hurdles on our path to try to slow us down...hurdles such as lies, doubts, shame, and wanting us to compare ourselves with others. The enemy wants us to feel guilty when we stumble over hurdles, but God can take those same hurdles and use them to strengthen us. With each hurdle we overcome, we become stronger and better equipped to handle the next one (because the next one is just around the corner).
God wants us to put our gifts to use and help us reach our full potential. He wants us to encourage and help other “teammates" along the way. He wants us to trust that He knows what is best and is in control. He want this for us because He loves us. As we are running this race called life, God promises to be with us every step of the way, but we have a daily choice as to what (or who) we focus on. We can overcome the hurdles when we stay focused on our Coach up ahead.
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.