Remember when you were a kid playing at someone’s house or just riding bikes in the neighborhood? Everyone present was just enjoying time together and time seemed to fly by. Once in a while, though, as kids are known to do, quarreling would break out. Whether somebody was ignoring somebody else or you couldn’t muster up the courage to jump the bike ramp, all you wanted to do was go home. You knew once you got there, all was safe. You didn’t have to face whatever “enemy” that caused you to leave in the first place. Aren’t we like that as adults? Just get me out of here. I want to go home!
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT) God, Himself, planted this longing in our hearts from the very beginning. He put the “knowing” of a better place in our hearts long before we knew what trouble was. We’re not designed to deal with conflict and hardship forever. That’s why this world we live in frustrates us to no end! We have this desire to go home. Our eternal home will be perfect and void of anything bad. I cannot even fathom that. But, my friends, if you’re still here, God has things planned for you. He has people He wants you to meet. He has errands He needs you to run for Him. Yes, trouble is certain, but He’s with you every step of the way.
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23 NLT) We know what Jesus’ cross was. It was His ultimate assignment from The Father to give us victory. It wasn’t enjoyable, to say the least. But it was necessary. The Kingdom was at hand. Each of us has been assigned “a cross”. Jesus is explaining to us that to follow Him, life’s not going to be particularly easy but we know it will be worth it! The personal victories along the broken roads of life will spur you on to the next one. There’s certain highs that can only be reached in this world by partnering with Jesus, denying your own way and moving forward with Him. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT) We know that there’s a crowd that’s already gone before us, cheering us on in our assignment. There’s also people here on earth that don’t even know their very lives depend on us running our race. So, we run! We don’t look to the left or right. We certainly don’t need distractions. We keep our eyes on Jesus! He leads the way. It’s His race anyway.
We can easily get discouraged if we start comparing our lives to others. We all need to understand that He’s created us all individually for individual purposes. There’s things I do that you’re not equipped for and things you do that I could never do. The Lord doesn’t need a bunch of cookie cutters all from the same mold. He’s called every one of us to climb different mountains. He’s got a whole world out there that needs to hear the good news that He loves them! He’s not mad! He just wants fellowship. And when we get weary, He gives us the fuel we need for our personal journey. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. (Psalms 18:33 NLT) He is able! He called you to it. He’ll make sure to get you from point A to point B.
God never promised us that this life would be easy. In fact, He promised quite the contrary. We get caught up in our own things. Our will often overrides His. When this happens, we need to carefully reevaluate our priorities. We’re only going to be truly fulfilled by being in God’s perfect will for us anyway. We can try to fill empty space with the empty things of this world and we’re only going to come up empty. Emptiness is not the goal. God wants us to live life to the fullest. Pray and ask Him if and where you’re missing it. He will show you. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9 NLT) Stay in the game! Stay focused. Keep your head up and keep your eyes on the prize. It’s Jesus. Nothing else will satisfy. It’s just Jesus!
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband, Robby and cat, Harold.