“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,” (Hebrew 12:1-2)

 

In the track and field community, most runners are familiar with the moment in a mid-distance race when the “bear jumps on your back.” Right as the runner turns that second curve, a bystander can physically see them be overcome with fatigue, ready to fall over, but with half of the race still to go.

 

We have officially hit the mid summer mark for Next Generation camping 2017, and the bear has jumped on our back. It would be great to say that planning, organizing and running several camps a week is no sweat, but we want to be honest. While the campers see the polished final production, behind the scenes can get hectic.

 

The true test about this bear that jumps on your back is the reaction. Some runners hit the wall, slow down and accept defeat. While others grit their teeth, dig in and throw it off with a new found strength.

 

Just because the bear has jumped on our back doesn’t mean we’re giving up. As Paul encourages the Hebrews, we will “run with perseverance” and continue to pour into the campers week after week.

 

This bear does not just pounce on runners and camping staff, it claims a new host regularly. People moving who have just a few more boxes to unpack. People trying to quit an addiction who are in the final days of the initial detox. People battling a mental or physical illness who are making progress, but still have a long journey ahead.

 

As Christians we are guaranteed a Lord who is stronger than we will ever be. Many of these bears can only be thrown off by leaning on the Lord. God’s unconditional love will carry us through even the hardest times when our own strength couldn’t hold up on its own.

 

The bear is unavoidable, but its who you call upon that really makes the difference.

Posted: 07/07/17

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