Working out is one of my favorite things to do! You are probably thinking that I am crazy and need prayer, but I love to stay active and am usually open to invitations to play sports, work out, go for a run, ride bikes, etc. So, last year when a friend of mine invited me to run an obstacle course race, I immediately said yes. Only after committing to the race did my friend give me more details: Our race was called “The Tough Mudder,” it’s 12-13 miles long, it involves getting electrocuted, jumping into ice water in November, going through mud pits, followed by more freezing water, and did I mentioned it’s over 12 miles long?
Weeks went by and when race day finally arrived, I felt ready. I had been training, doing research on YouTube, and most importantly, consuming lots of protein shakes. I remember starting the race and feeling that the first three miles were fairly easy; there was some running, crawling in mud, and a couple of small walls to climb. I was nearly halfway through the race and my ego was growing with each mile. I even began planning out my American Ninja Warrior debut.
Then came mile 6. There I encountered chest-deep mud pits so full and thick it was impossible to move, let alone climb out. After a few minutes of trying to push forward in the pit, I realized I was completely stuck and so were all of the other runners around me. Determined to get out of the ridiculous pit, a few of the racers and I began to work together and developed a system. We locked arms and alternated between pushing the runners in front of us and pulling the ones behind us. I had spent weeks preparing for this race on my own, but in that moment I realized: The Tough Mudder was never designed to be completed alone.
Life, just like The Tough Mudder, is not intended to be completed alone. In Hebrews 10, the writer is addressing wavering Jewish believers and encouraging them to stand in their faith. He specifically uses the words “us” and “we” to show the wavering believers that they are not alone, that they have a community of “we” and “us” that are standing in faith
with them and for them. When you fall into the pits of life, remember that you are also surrounded by a “we” and “us”; your church and your community are always behind you to push you through. In turn, we also have the opportunity to encourage and lift up our fellow believers and watch them come out on the other side.
IT’S THE PITS that make life tough, but it’s also in those pits that we discover the strength and power of community. It’s the pits that show us that we can’t do it on our own, and fortunately, that we don’t have to.