Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Heb.12:1)
Anyone who knows me knows that I have long struggled with trying to get in shape. At times, I have done relatively well. At other times, I have done poorly. I am working on it. Recent health problems have caused me to refocus my efforts. There are days when motivation abounds. There are other days when it is difficult to find the motivation I need. I look around and notice some who have incredible resolve to go to the gym, jog daily, follow an exercise regiment, etc. I notice those who seemingly put forth no effort and eat what they want, yet they appear to be in incredible shape. Why is it so difficult for some and so easy for others? Are all of those who are not in peak shape lazy, unmotivated, and uncommitted to their physical health? Are all of those who seem to be in optimum condition perfectly disciplined in their diet, exercise, recovery, and rest routines? I hope that we realize that there are those who are struggling with weight, body image, fitness, etc., who are desperately trying to overcome their struggles, though the outward appearance may not indicate such. I say all of this to make us think about our spiritual well-being. There are those who appear to be faithful and godly without any effort. There are others who seem to be unfaithful, indifferent, lazy, easily sidetracked, on-again-off-again, non-committal, shallow, or any number of other less-than-desirable characterizations, yet they are fighting and struggling to be what God desires them to be. Don’t let appearances fool you. Let’s work to get into spiritual shape, and let’s help each other to be molded into the image of Jesus.
“Heavenly Father, we fail you so often. We want to be like Jesus, but we realize that we do not always live like he lived. Help us to be conformed to his image. Help us to strive daily to be more like him. And help us to encourage each other along the way. May we all struggle together so that we can all reflect your glory to a world that so desperately needs you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”