Daily Devotion for June 23, 2020

Cheering You On!
​By Scott Carlson

“So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us.  Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter (Hebrews 12:1-2).”
As I was getting ready to turn 50, several years ago, I did an evaluation of my life, I realized that I was in the worst shape of my life.  I was as heavy as I had ever been.  I wasn’t exercising and I was eating poorly.  That was when I decided to make some changes.
I started exercising.  With a goal that I would attempt to get in shape to do a sprint triathlon.  I signed up for one, seven months into the future.  I started running.  I increased the biking I was doing.  I added swimming to my exercise routine.  It was fun to get into shape.
On the day of the event, I was pretty nervous.  My hope was that I at least wouldn’t finish last in my age group (I didn’t).  When the gun went off for my group to begin the swim, I jumped into the lake with about 50 of my new friends. That was when I received a big surprise.
The surprise came when, once the event started, how many people were so encouraging.  It happened while swimming, other encouraging, “You got this.  You can do it.”  This encouragement continued through the biking and all the way through the running portion. 
“Way to go.”  “Keep it up.”
These little phrases of encouragement often came at the right time.  By the end of the day, I was certainly tired.  But it was the encouragement of others cheering us on, that helped make the whole experience a good experience.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, that I believe are with us, cheering us on as we seek to live faithfully today.  May you be encouraged by the cloud of witnesses surrounding you and cheering you on.
Loving God, thank you for calling us in this day to be in ministry at this incredible time in history.  There is a lot of fear in our world.  Sometimes we are flooded with self-doubt.  Draw near to us.  help us to hear your words of encouragement that come to us from you and from this great cloud of witnesses. Help us to draw our strength from you.  In the hope Jesus offers us. Amen.