Daily Devotion, 08/30/2018, “Lighten Up”
Hebrews 12:1-2a NLT 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.
Hiking and backpacking in the Bitterroot Mountains of southwest Montana is a beloved summer ritual for our family. When we backpack, we each carry thirty to forty pounds of gear, food and clothing on our backs. Hiking up and down mountain terrain at 8,000 to 11,000 feet is challenging enough for flat landers like us. Strapping on fully loaded, sixty liter packs takes it to a whole new level! There’s a saying in the backpacking world that goes like this, “Ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain.” The idea is that the lighter your pack is, the more enjoyable your hike will be. With that in mind, we only pack in the essentials. My favorite pair of Levi’s, ten-year journal and Buc-ee’s coffee mug never make the cut.
Your spiritual journey is much the same. You likely have some gear in the form of unwise relationships, undisciplined habits and ungodly pursuits that you need to “strip off” because they are slowing you down. If you’re not intentional about choosing what to leave behind, those people, sins and things will slow you down and trip you up.
This past summer, Caleb, Micah and I had to make one last, steep push to a mountain lake to get to where we wanted to camp about seven miles into our hike that day. Caleb had the heaviest pack and was pretty much spent at that point. I traded packs with him, we took a quick break and I encouraged both boys that we could make it if we just paced ourselves and kept moving. The sight of that crystal blue lake with majestic waterfalls on both ends was well worth the effort but we couldn’t have made it without each other.
You have a “huge crowd of witnesses“ cheering you on in heaven. You have Jesus Himself setting the pace as He perfects your faith. May you let go of all that’s holding you back and race with endurance towards all God has called you to and created you for.
You are loved!